San Francisco Chronicle urges voters to reject Prop 21

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The San Francisco Chronicle on Monday urged voters to reject Proposition 21, the extreme rent control measure on California’s Nov. 3 ballot.

With the Chronicle’s editorial, nearly every major newspaper in the state has now opposed the measure.

The editorial notes that “the case for rent control, overwhelmingly rejected by experts and refuted by research, might have seemed unlikely to grow weaker. And yet it has.”

The San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board points to the overwhelming defeat of Proposition 10, the nearly identical measure overwhelmingly rebuffed by voters in 2018.

“In the two years since Californians rejected the last attempt to double down on the failed policy by letting more cities impose and expand rent control, the reasons to vote against this fall’s rehash, Proposition 21, have multiplied,” the editorial says.

Like its predecessor Prop 10, Prop 21 aims to dismantle the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — the single most vital California law for rental housing providers.

If Proposition 21 passes, local governments will bring back vacancy controls, capping rents between tenancies; they’ll also apply local rent control ordinances to newer apartments — as soon as they turn 15 years old — and to a greater number of condos and single-family homes.

Other major newspapers up and down California have editorialized against the measure; a few examples include the Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, the Orange County Register and the L.A. Daily News.

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