Battle for Rent Control May Not be Over
In the months leading to the election, cities and counties began to adopt resolutions and other measures to advance potential rent control measures. In Los Angeles, the City Council approved a Resolution in support of Proposition 10 by a vote of 13-1 last month. The Resolution highlighted the increasingly high rental rates in the area and across California that have created a severe housing affordability crisis. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved a similar Resolution in support of Proposition 10 acknowledging the opportunity for policymakers to confront the housing affordability crisis by expanding rent control. On Tuesday, voters defeated Proposition 10 by a vote of 65% to 35%. Notwithstanding this defeat, we anticipate that local governments will continue to explore ways to address housing affordability, including rent control, as a policy priority concern.
For instance, in San Francisco, Proposition C, a local measure to tax big businesses to fund homeless housing and services, passed with just short of a 60% majority. In Los Angeles, Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Herb Wesson recently introduced a Motion to examine adjusting the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. According to testimony by Councilmember O’Farrell, “We need to look at all possible options for policy makers at the local level to include more units under the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance. With a balanced approach that provides certainty to tenants while recognizing the need for property owners to make a reasonable return on their investments, we can begin to bridge the gap in availability of housing while continuing to building responsibly and with an eye of the future needs of all Angelenos.”
We will continue to monitor these and other efforts. We are available to discuss further as the conversation around rent control continues to unfold.
*Nashia Lalani is a Land Use Planner with Sheppard Mullin and assisted in preparation of this post.