Proposition 10: The Truth

  1. Proposition 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (“Costa-Hawkins”), which was passed by the California Legislature and signed into law in 1995. This law stopped new rent control ordinances from being enacted, because the effect of them was harming people across the state. Rent control led to far fewer available apartments, a decline in apartment quality, conversion of current apartments to condominiums or other uses, and huge new fees for young people wanting to rent an apartment.
  2. Rent Control does not build new apartments, in fact it discourages new building. And the reason rents are rising is because more people want apartments than are available. Imposing stricter rent control will make this problem far worse as apartment owners will be forced to convert their buildings into condominiums or othe uses, and new construction simply stops.
  3. The repeal would not only allow bureaucrats to arbitrarily set rents, but it will also end the ability of property owners to decide how long they wish to rent out their property. Once a rent control tenant is in place, they could stay as long as they want, even decades, and their rental rates would be under the control of unaccountable bureaucrats. This would be disastrous, for example, for homeowners who need to rent out their homes for lifestyle (e.g., downsizing), financial or job opportunity reasons.
  4. A California Assembly Bill this year to do the same thing as Proposition 10 was defeated in the legislature without a single hearing last year, because it was so obvious that it would harm the interests of nearly all Californians. But now, it is brought back by ultrawealthy and controversial Michael Weinstein, who is determined to impose his personal will on all of California.
  5. In city after city, rent control creates a two-tier system of haves and have-nots. Articles like this, this, and this show conclusively that rent control is bad for cities, bad for renters, and bad for taxpayers. (links to follow)
  6. Economists who study the effect of pricing on supply are almost unanimous in opposing rent control. An overwhelming 98% of Economists opposed in in a survey from University of Chicago, including leading voices from MIT, Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. ( In the words of one, “Rent control discourages supply of rental units. Incumbent renters benefit from capped prices. New renters face reduced rental options.”
  7. A Stanford study ( showed that rent control especially harms younger people, who need the ability to relocate and upgrade as the climb the career ladder. The beneficiaries of rent control are a smaller number of older renters who take up residence in the same place for decades. In the Bay Area, where many cities have grandfathered rent control, as many as 82% of all renters are still in place from a year ago. (
  8. As the values of apartment buildings fall across California, property tax collections from their owners will be reduced. This will leave huge revenue shortfalls that will either increase other taxes on everyone or lead to big spending cuts in social services and education. It’s a lose-lose proposition.
  9. Rent Control reduces the money available to maintain and improve apartments. In city after city, rent controlled apartments are less desirable and less livable than market rate apartments. But market rate apartments become hard or impossible to find, and far more expensive than they were before.
  10. Both gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Gavin Newsome and Republican John Cox oppose Proposition 10 – so why should you support it?


Rent Control is a lose-lose proposition. Join the fight and get regular updates.