Affordable Housing Act

The People of the State of California do hereby ordain as follows:

Section 1. Title

As Section 1 says, Proposition 10 is the Affordable Housing Act. Passing it empowers local communities to expand rent control to limit skyrocketing rent increases and address predatory housing practices. That’s it. It’s a simple, limited measure that doesn’t try to do too much. It won’t solve all housing problems, but it will provide your local government an important set of tools to take action.

You are already hearing a lot of arguments against Prop 10. Those arguments are designed to confuse you into voting NO. They will say things like “it is badly written” and “it doesn’t solve all housing problems.” That’s why we want you to read it for yourself. You will see it’s pretty clear and simple. But because some of it is written in legal terms, we are providing some clear explanations as to what the different sections mean.

Section 2. Findings and Declarations

Section 2 describes the housing affordability crisis and why California so desperately needs Prop 10. Bottom line? Everyone should have a safe, healthy and affordable place to call home, but for many the rent is too damn high.

Home prices and rents are higher in California than any other state except Hawaii. Rent hikes in the state are double the national average – even worse in Los Angeles, where apartments cost 100 percent more than the national average. Out of control housing costs, driven by corporate landlords and big real estate, have left many Californians living paycheck to paycheck, with the American dream of buying a home no longer within reach. Nearly 70 percent of households don’t make enough to afford an average priced home, which runs $538,640. The politicians in Sacramento created this crisis and now they are failing to address it.

Skyrocketing rents are forcing families out of their homes and out of the state – creating labor shortages that hurt local businesses.

49 percent of Californians are struggling to make ends meet and housing is the biggest reason why. Nearly one in three families pay over half of their income on housing and employers can’t afford to pay workers what they need to live locally, leading families to live in overcrowded, substandard condition apartments or face eviction. Housing insecurity hurts performance on the job with many having to move their families further away and even leave the state altogether. Families being priced out of their communities at an alarming rate don’t need more housing, but more affordable housing.

Low-income and middle-income Californians have been hit the hardest.

Since lower-income people and people of color are far more likely to face rent hikes, gentrification is accelerating across California. Living paycheck to paycheck means it’s difficult for working people, like nurses, teachers, service professionals and grocery clerks, to afford housing and still have enough money for groceries, gas and childcare. Prop 10 will enable more communities to implement similar measures to curb predatory housing practices and keep lower-income tenants in their homes. That’s why a broad coalition of nurses, teachers, seniors, labor unions and housing advocates support Prop 10.

Homelessness among retirees, veterans, and others on fixed incomes is on the rise.

More than three-quarters of California’s low-income seniors are financially burdened by rent, according to UCLA.When the rent goes up, so do the number of homeless people. The Los Angeles Times reports that homelessness has surged 22 percent among seniors in LA alone, in part, because every 5 percent increase in rent drives 2,000 more Los Angeles residents into homelessness. Those facing eviction suffer enormous stress, which can lead to depression, heart attacks and other health problems.

Further, out of 40,000 homeless veterans in the US, 11,000 of them live in California–and we have seen a 17-percent rise in homeless veterans since 2016. Prop 10 is the only solution we have to keep our seniors and veterans living healthy lives in their homes and off the streets.

Since Sacramento told communities that they couldn’t rein in skyrocketing rents, California’s housing crisis has spun out of control.

For decades, corporate landlords and big real estate interests have driven rents higher and higher, driving many residents further away from their jobs, and often out of California altogether. Between 2000 and 2016, rent in California has gone up 85 percent while median household income increased by only 43 percent. Worse, some are driven out of stable housing altogether and find themselves and their families living on the streets and homeless. With this new state law, big real estate interests and landlords got their way, essentially rigging the system to benefit them and leaving local communities powerless to take action to protect their residents.

Section 3. Purposes and Intent

Prop 10 does not mandate rent control or force any community to adopt anything they don’t want or need.

Instead, Prop 10 takes a very limited approach to addressing one aspect of our housing affordability crisis. By repealing the failed and outdated Costa-Hawkins law, it simply removes the constraints that law imposed on local governments to limit skyrocketing rents and curb predatory housing practices. By passing Prop 10, local governments will be empowered to take urgent action to address the housing crisis on their terms, should their community need such action.