Soapbox

California needs rent control, no matter what apartment owners say

Everyone should have a decent and safe place to call home.

 
Opinion

This belief is the basis of our campaign to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act to restore the right of local communities to protect all families from skyrocketing rents. Our initiative simply returns power to local communities to make housing decisions that are right for them.

Don’t believe the corporate landlord claims of the California Apartment Association that rent control will stop housing construction (“Rent control will worsen housing crisis,” Another View, April 30).

For decades, big real estate groups have sponsored misleading studies against rent control to protect their profits. The truth is there is no convincing evidence to support their claims. Studies show that construction rates in cities with rent control are the same as in cities without. Landlords can pass the costs of repairs to tenants and benefit from having long-term tenants. Nothing about the initiative to repeal Costa Hawkins will change that.

We need multiple strategies to resolve this housing crisis. We can build more homes while we also protect families from being pushed onto the streets. And building new homes takes years while families are being pushed out of their homes now.

Without rent control protections, the social and economic diversity of our communities will continue to be threatened.

Michelle Pariset advocates on state housing policy for Public Advocates, a civil rights law firm that is a member of the Coalition for Affordable Housing. She can be contacted at mpariset@publicadvocates.org.

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