Understanding Prop 21, the Rental Affordability Act (Costa-Hawkins reform ballot measure)

A couple of rent controlled apartment buildings in Berkeley

Rent control in California has been limited since the 1995 Costa-Hawkins state law.

Under Costa-Hawkins, only tenants who stay long term in apartment buildings get the full benefits of rent control.

The current system under Costa-Hawkins with vacancy decontrol has challenges for tenants… and property investors.

Graph showing estimated rents over 30 years under the current Costa-Hawkins system or rent control with vacancy decontrol.

Reforming Costa-Hawkins has broad support but faces well-funded opposition.

The Yes on Prop 10 logo
Some of the organizations that endorsed Prop 10. Full list here.

The new Rental Affordability Act ballot measure addresses Prop 10’s weaknesses.

Rental Affordability Act logo
Graph showing estimated rents over 30 years if the Rental Affordability Act were to pass.

The Rental Affordability Act is a compromise that provides stability for tenants, landlords, homeowners, and developers.

The Rental Affordability Act is just one part of the solution — we also need funding for Affordable Housing and we need zoning reforms to build more housing.

Recently built apartment buildings in Berkeley. The turquoise building on the left was built in 2004 and would soon be covered by rent control if the Rental Affordability Act passes. The one on the right was built in 2015. Each contain over 100 apartments.

California needs more homes.

However, for working class and fixed income Californians, many additional homes need to be subsidized affordable housing.

The Housing Alliance for the Bay Area is a proposed regional affordable housing agency.

Rent control is the bridge that will get California tenants across the crisis to our better future of abundant and subsidized housing.

Vote Yes on the Rental Affordability Act.

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