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Proposition 10: Rent control

Summary: Prop 10 would allow for the expansion of rent control in California municipalities, rolling back a 1995 statewide ban on additional rent control and affording local governments the power to implement their own rules around rent control.

Public Debate:

For: The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has contributed more than $17 million to the Yes on Prop 10 campaign, by far the biggest donor. Though the nonprofit’s work is in the healthcare realm, foundation spokesman Ged Kenslea told the Chronicle that affordable housing is central to their mission of helping patients live full lives. “We see firsthand the impact that stable and affordable housing has on our patients, and on our staff, who are having to travel farther (from their homes) to clinics and health centers,” he said.

Against: Real estate groups such as the California Association of Realtors and Blackstone Property Partners have contributed the most funding to the No on Prop 10 campaign. Some affordable housing advocates argue that Prop 10 will not fix the housing crisis, putting bureaucrats in charge of housing and letting them add fees on top of rent.

Party opinions: California Democrats recommend a Yes on Prop 10. CA GOP recommends No.

Campus opinions:

Stanford Democrats voiced support for Prop 10, saying it will “greatly expand the power of local governments to apply rent control to markets in need of corrective action, helping to make such markets more equitable.”

Stanford College Republicans opposes Prop 10, saying that rent control has decreased the supply of housing in California, and the expansion thereof “will only enable more local governments to choose this politically popular but effectively disastrous policy in a state where we already have a 1.5 million-unit housing shortage.”

David Henderson, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution who appeared in an advertisement for the No on Prop 10 campaign, told The Daily that the proposition will only worsen the housing crisis.

“Rent control discourages new construction, gives an incentive to landlords not to maintain housing, causes some property owners to move into their own property or divert their property to commercial use and makes it harder for new potential tenants to find housing,” he said. “The solution for high rents is straightforward: attack the root of the problem by allowing more housing to be built.”

Matt Nissen said that SCoPE 2035 has worked closely with housing advocacy groups that support the measure, including Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto and Comite de Vecinos del Lado Oeste.