"It's like the saying from the Poltergeist movie, 'You're back," he said Erik Bruvold of San Diego North Economic Development Council at a newer one CREW San Diego Event earlier this month. He was referring to a Los Angeles-based group of activists – including Michael Weinstein and his AIDS Healthcare Foundation – who have pushed several statewide polls on rent control in recent years.
The last ballot in November will be Prop 21. The initiative would give local governments the power to set rent control restrictions on apartments that were first inhabited 15 years ago. As with previous rental control initiatives, the industry is fighting hard against it. "This is an attack by a Los Angeles group on the repeal of the existing law that restricts rental control by the local government," Bruvold said at the event. “The law would be struck off the books so that rent control could be applied. Be careful with your wishes. "
Current statewide law limited rental control restrictions to properties built prior to 1995 and prevented cities from updating existing rental control regulations at the time of construction. In Los Angeles, the local ordinance known as the Rent Stabilization Ordinance is limited to units built before 1978. According to Bruvold, Prop 21 goes well beyond current restrictions, including a rent increase tax of 5% + CPI. "They would be limited to 15% catch-up plus local fees, and that only applies to homes aged 15 and over," he said. He also says the new law would distort rental markets.
According to Bruvold, only 37% of Californians support the measure so far, so the chance of a passport is limited. "Most people in California vote no when confused and likely won't pass," he said.
While Bruvold doesn't expect it to, the recurring measures to control rents are a response to the housing affordability crisis plaguing the state and attempts by tenant activists to find legislative solutions to keep rental growth slow it down. "This is a response to the fact that housing in California is ridiculously expensive and people pay a lot more," says Bruvold, who adds that this is a problem that should be solved with advancement, not legislation. “This is a simple problem of supply and demand that requires dramatic steps and fundamental changes in the eligibility of residential projects. This new provision would also allow stricter controls. "
Craig Benedetto from California strategies also spoke on the panel, expressing concern about the growing hostility towards landlords that helped fuel such proposals as well as Prop 15, the split-roll tax initiative. "People seem to lose sight of the fact that the owner of the property has become the bad person they were talking about," said Benedetto. "But that doesn't really happen. Owners are trying to work with their tenants. People today are trying to position themselves for the future." He added that these measures could drive investment out of the state in the future.