Soapbox

Rent control will worsen California’s housing crisis

Supporters of a rent control initiative march to the state Capitol on April 23. Backers of the initiative say they have collected enough signatures to allow voters to decide whether to repeal a 1995 law that restricts rent control.
Supporters of a rent control initiative march to the state Capitol on April 23. Backers of the initiative say they have collected enough signatures to allow voters to decide whether to repeal a 1995 law that restricts rent control. AP

The Coalition for Responsible Housing shares the dismay of the Sacramento Bee editorial board about the continued failure to meaningfully address California’s housing crisis (“Compromise on housing or face rent control,” April 19).

 
Opinion

Our coalition – which represents builders, managers and suppliers of rental housing across California – continues to work toward solutions and to ease the financial burden of millions of Californians. We have embraced a number of important measures to ease the housing crunch, and coalition members have worked in favor of offering local aid to create more middle-class housing and earmarking money to help our skyrocketing homeless population.

Joshua LaBarge

But taking the wrong action could deepen the crisis. It is important for voters to understand that the proposed rent control initiative on the November ballot would have catastrophic consequences for our state.

The proponents of this initiative want to stop the construction of new housing that is essential for easing our crisis. But Californians are clearly concerned and frustrated with the increase in homelessness and the difficulty families are having finding a safe, affordable place to live.

It is imperative for our political, community and business leaders to work together to tackle the state’s housing crisis, but we should be careful not to embrace bad public policy that could make the problem worse. The “Weinstein Housing Freeze” is a major step in the wrong direction for California, and should be rejected by voters.

Joshua LaBarge, an affordable housing developer in Ontario, is on the board of the California Apartment Association. He can be contacted at Josh@qmgonline.com.

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