California’s Prop. 21 would establish rent control in state

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SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — A three-bedroom, two-bath rental house in a modest neighborhood in Chula Vista in southern San Diego County, California, is on the market for $2,800 a month.

Rents overall in the state are at an all-time high, and some say they are out of reach for many residents in California.

As a way to try and stabilize prices, voters in California are being asked to approve Proposition 21.

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With some exceptions, it would allow individual cities throughout the state to enact rent control on properties that are more than 15 years old. It would not apply to people who own two or fewer rental properties.

This 3 bedroom, two bath home in Chula Vista, Calif. is on the rental market for $2800 per month. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

“California is a challenging place to live when it comes to affordable housing,” said Wendy Patrick, political insider and analyst in Southern California.

Wendy Patrick

Patrick pointed out that two years ago, voters rejected a similar ballot measure.

“Prop 21 is very similar to a proposition that failed in 2018. The question for voters is, are the circumstances so markedly different today that this proposition will turn out differently?” she said.

Supporters say this would let cities pass limits on rent increases to protect California families who are one rent hike away from being driven out of their neighborhoods by corporate landlords, and that Proposition 21 will stop more homelessness and gentrification.

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Opponents believe it the measure passes, it will make it less profitable for builders to construct more housing, affordable or not, at a time when California has a massive housing shortage. It would also decrease revenue for city and state governments, already cash-strapped by the pandemic.

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