Culver City Observer -

Vote 'No' on Prop. 10

 

October 11, 2018



By Ron Bassillian

With less than a month to the election, Prop. 10, the “California Local Rent Control Initiative,” is waking up as the sleeper issue of the state.

Prop. 10 is a repeal of the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which protects home and property owners from overarching rent-control laws.

The existing Costa-Hawkins law has three main protections: it exempts single family homes, duplexes and condominiums from rent control; it grants the right to raise rents on vacant units to market rates, and it exempts any building erected after 1995 from rent control.

Prop. 10 would do away with all of that, allowing municipalities to adopt whatever rent control laws they wish.

Supporters are already flooding the airwaves and internet with ads, raising the alarm of the “housing crisis” and the lack of “affordable housing.”

Ads for Prop. 10 are calling property owners “Wall Street Landlords,” “Trump donors” and “parasites.”

Their ads are full of blatant falsehoods about “predatory landlords” and “price gouging” and a “homeless crisis spawned by Trump donors.” Let’s clear the air:

• 80 percent of landlords are small landlords, no different from homeowners. They’re generally owner-occupiers with four or fewer units, hardly the 1 percent which enjoy political power along with immense wealth. Ironically, Prop. 10 supporters are the ones with this kind of wealth.

• California is run by Democrats, not Republicans, not Trump donors. The homeless crisis--which is really a vagrant crisis that comes with thieves, drugs and prostitution—is only a few years old. It’s a direct result of Democrat legislation – Props 47, 57, and AB 109 – which have left police powerless to deal with vagrants and drug addicts. This lack of consequences has allowed them to spread like wildfire.

• “Rent gouging” is an extremely rare exception to the rule. It generally happens when someone buys a building with unnaturally low rent, and just wants to flip it. To say this is a regular occurrence is a lie. Existing rent-control statutes already protect against this in many cities.

On a basic level, rent control does not work because it doesn’t account for supply and demand. At the very best, it helps a few existing renters by keeping their rents artificially low. It does so by locking down existing stock, leaving new renters scrambling for what little is left.

On a more fundamental level, this is a state power grab for our homes disguised as a humanitarian measure. It does nothing to change the housing situation. It will allow cities more power over your home, your condo or duplex, no matter when you bought it or what you do with it. Even if you decide to AirBnB it or rent out a room, repealing this will leave you vulnerable to rent control laws.

You would think the supposed “fat cats” who oppose this proposition would be well placed to finance its defeat.

However, their funds are being eclipsed by its supporters. The wealthiest foundations and most powerful political brokers in our state are all organized behind this proposition.

Eric Garcetti [Mayor of Los Angeles] was instrumental in getting this initiative on the November ballot.

This proposition will collapse the small housing market – and that’s the intention. By making small operations untenable, big developers can buy people out, raze their modest holdings, and replace them with the behemoths we’ve been seeing all over town.

It’s all part of an agenda by the biggest developers and the most established Democrats to consolidate the economy into the hands of a privileged few.

Keep in mind this proposition isn’t coming at us in a vacuum. State Legislators have already been busy trying to repeal Prop 13, which restricts property tax hikes.

If this proposition passes, guaranteed Prop 13 will be next on the chopping block. Other measures abound that make it increasingly harder for small owners to operate in this state. In the end, only those with deep warchests and political connections will be able to own property in California.

I implore you to keep your eyes open this election season. A lot of big money is floating around pretending to be the champion of working people.

Beware of politicians bearing gifts: Vote NO on Prop. 10 if you want to save your home.

Ron Bassilian is the GOP candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in California’s 37th district, which includes Culver City. Learn nore about Prop 10 at http://ronfor37.org/costahawkins..

 

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