The year was 1995. As Apollo 13 was on top at the box office and TLC’s “Waterfalls” dominated the charts, lawmakers in Sacramento ushered in an ill-conceived bill that has only further inflamed California’s housing crisis in the 23 years since its passage. The bill stripped local communities of the power to even consider new measures to stabilize rents and limit skyrocketing rent increases.
Passed by just one vote, Costa-Hawkins was shepherded through the legislature by big Real Estate special interests and Republican Governor Pete Wilson. Proponents at the time made baseless, outsized claims that fail to match reality — just as the backers of No on 10 make today:
Just as Proposition 10 supporters note today, the writing was on the wall about Costa-Hawkins’ expected detrimental impact on the housing market back in 1995:
In just five days, California voters will have a critical opportunity to course correct and take our state off of the dangerous path we’re on in terms of housing affordability. California is number one in the nation for homelessness, has the most expensive metro areas in the nation, and more than half of Californians spend over a third of their income on housing. By passing Proposition 10, we can take key step towards solving California’s housing-affordability and homelessness crises.
Prop 10 will protect California’s renters and guarantee landlords a fair rate of return, all while laying the foundation for stronger communities. By empowering local communities to limit rent increases and curtail predatory housing practices, cities and counties will be able to create thoughtful laws to address their local housing situations. That’s why more than 500 trusted organizations and civic leaders endorse Proposition 10, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, the California Democratic Party, the California Labor Federation, the ACLU, and the League of Women Voters.
ABOUT PROPOSITION 10: Proposition 10, the Affordable Housing Act, is a ballot measure that will restore the right of local communities to set fair limits on rent increases in order to address California’s housing affordability crisis.