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Rent Stabilization Policies Promote Economic and Community Stability, USC Study Says

Oct 10, 2018

new study by University of Southern California researchers finds that rent stabilization policies are a key tool in addressing the state’s housing-affordability crisis. Proposition 10 will allow local communities to enact these policies and rein in skyrocketing rent increases as they see fit. The report examines how rent stabilization impacts renters, homeowners, and local economies, finding that these policies promote economic and community stability.

Key findings from the USC report include:

  • Rent stabilization measures do not increase the rent of non-regulated units and help keep rent more affordable for all.
  • Rent regulations have minimal negative impact on new construction.
  • Rent stabilization increases housing stability, which has important health and educational attainment benefits.
  • When rent regulations allow for condominium conversion, units are then taken off the market.
  • There is no conclusive evidence about the impacts on “mom and pop” landlords.
  • Rent regulations may deter gentrification.
  • As detailed in the report, rent regulations have less deleterious effects than is often imagined— particularly more moderate rent stabilization measures—which seem to promote resident stability and can help slow the displacement dimension of gentrification.

“While the housing crisis requires a range of strategies, moderate rent regulation is a useful tool to be nested in broader strategy. It has fewer damaging effects than are often imagined, it can address economic pain, and it can promote housing stability,” said USC Professor Manuel Pastor, the report’s co-author. “And housing stability matters because it is associated with physical, social, and psychological well-being; higher educational achievement by the young; and benefits for people of color.”

A recent UC-Berkeley study offered similar findings, further underlining the need to pass Proposition 10 in November.

Proposition 10 is a key step towards solving California’s housing-affordability and homelessness crises because it 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.

A broad coalition of trusted organizations and advocates — from the League of Women Voters and ACLU, to the California Democratic Party to the California Teachers and Nurses Associations, to the Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee — are all urging Californians to vote YES on Proposition 10.

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