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California Ballot Propositions

Proposition 21: Local Rent Control Initiative


The ballot measure would allow local governments to adopt rent control on housing units, except on (a) housing that was first occupied within the last 15 years and (b) units owned by natural persons who own no more than two housing units with separate titles, such as single-family homes, condos, and some duplexes, or subdivided interests, such as stock cooperatives and community apartment projects.

  • Amends state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on residential properties over 15 years old. Allows local limits on annual rent increases to differ from current statewide limit.
  • Allows rent increases in rent-controlled properties of up to 15 percent over three years at start of new tenancy (above any increase allowed by local ordinance).
  • Exempts individuals who own no more than two homes from new rent-control policies.
  • In accordance with California law, prohibits rent control from violating landlords’ right to fair financial return.

Full Text of Initiative


Support website: Yes on 21

"Among the 17 million renters in California, the suffering is unabated. Not only do we see increased homelessness, but the affordability crisis has reached epic proportions with many people paying 50 percent or more of their income to keep a roof over their head."

-Michael Weinstein, President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

"Profound housing insecurity in our state is one significant reason the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in such disproportionate suffering and tragedy for workers in low-wage jobs, workers of color and immigrant workers. Because of systematic exclusion and racism, these families lived in crowded conditions or the constant fear of eviction even before this pandemic; now their living conditions are truly a matter of life and death."

David Huerta, President, SEIU United Service Workers West


Opposition website: No on 21

"Prop. 21 provides no protections for seniors and would hurt senior renters and homeowners alike. For those seniors relying on their single-family home for their retirement nest eggs or to help fund their care later in life, Prop. 21 pulls the rug out from under them. And for senior renters on fixed incomes, Prop 21 would result in less affordable rental housing options."

-Gary Passmore, President, Congress of California Seniors

"It has been proven time and again that rent control does not work. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the 2018 rent control initiative and Michael Weinstein’s second attempt will also be rejected. We do not need more distractions and resources spent on failed policies but instead we need policies that encourage more affordable and accessible housing."

-Sid Lakireddy, President, California Rental Housing Association

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.


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