Why Rent Control?
California’s housing crisis is at a boiling point. In 2019, homelessness grew by 16.4% across the state while rents increase, and wages remain stagnant. Prop 21 will help keep housing affordable for everyone, allowing Californians to live and thrive in our state.
Why Rent Control?
California’s housing crisis is at a boiling point. In 2019, homelessness grew by 16.4% across the state while rents increase, and wages remain stagnant. Rent control helps keep housing affordable for everyone, allowing Californians to live and thrive in our state.
How Does It Help?
How Does This Affect Me?
Communities are inclusive of different groups of people— homeowners, renters, and businesses. When one of these groups experience instability, the community as a whole is impacted. Skyrocketing rents negatively affects entire communities by reducing the incomes of renters who could otherwise spend locally, by creating poverty, and by increasing homelessness that costs all of us billions in taxpayer dollars. It takes away all the hard work that people have invested in making their community home.
Proposition 21 keeps rents stable, and that keeps our communities stable. It does not force rent control on neighborhoods. It simply removes top-down state laws so that communities can decide what works best for them.
Families & Children
- The number of homeless families has dramatically increased in our communities. Families with children are 33% of the homeless population.
- Unhoused children are one of the largest growing groups as more families become housing insecure.
- Up to 36% of emancipated foster care youth will report being homeless at least once.
- Compared to their peers, children experiencing homelessness and housing instability experience higher rates of mental health problems, developmental delays, poor cognitive outcomes, and depression.
- Proposition 21 addresses families living in cars, crowding in with other family members, and problems with school attendance by providing rent stability to our community.
- Seniors are one of the fastest groups of newly homeless. For instance, in Los Angeles, senior homelessness increased by 20% in 2020.
- Senior fixed income doesn’t keep up with rising rents. Since 2012, rents in L.A. County have increased at three times the rate of Social Security income. Across California, 35% of renters aged 65 to 79 spend over half their income on rent. A staggering 42% of renters 80 or older do the same.
- Seniors who have been renting the same apartment for decades are often targets for eviction; evicting their long-term renters means a landlord can charge the next renter as much as they want.
- Prop 21 protects current affordable housing and limits rent increases, which benefits everyone— especially seniors, by removing the target off of their backs.
- Prop 21 doesn't affect you if you own your home. It doesn’t raise your taxes and it doesn’t limit your rights. If you’re not in the rental housing business, this initiative will not affect you. It does address abuses by corporate landlords who drive up rental costs and negatively impact our neighbors. Only greedy corporations have any reason to fear Prop 21.
- Prop 21 exempts single-family homeowners with two or fewer homes. That means that if you own your home and rent out another, you are exempt. If you rent a bedroom out in your own house, you are exempt.
- Prop 21 will keep your neighbors housed. No one should live on our streets: Homelessness is detrimental to our community, disempowers those experiencing it and impacts the quality of our community life. Marginalization and isolation from our community leads to a sterile society that perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
- Corporate landlords make a lot of profit at the expense of your community. They drive out tenants who pay less in rent in order to move in higher rent-paying tenants.
- These displaced tenants face a higher likelihood of becoming homeless. Increased homelessness requires higher property taxes to pay for additional services.
- Prop 21 keeps people housed and keeps your taxes low.
- Renters deserve secure housing without the threat of unsustainable rent increases.
- More than half of all renters statewide — more than 3 million households — spend more than 30% of their income on rent, meeting the federal government’s definition of “rent-burdened.” Worse still, nearly a third of renters spend at least half of their income on rent!
- Large rent increases are proven to increase homelessness in communities. By stabilizing rents, we can prevent renters from becoming homeless and allow them to save to buy their own homes.
- Prop 21 gives your community the power to decide what renter protections work for your area. It allows local communities to limit rent increases when a tenant moves out, ensuring that currently affordable housing remains affordable to renters.
- Prop 21 was written to target corporate landlord billionaires, not mom and pop landlords who are a staple of our communities. Studies show that while small landlords build relationships with their tenants and keep rents low, corporate landlords evict their tenants and increase rents at far higher rates.
- When houses are sold to cash-carrying investors for conversion into rentals, prospective homeowners and “mom and pop” landlords are crowded out of the market, and communities suffer. Prop 21 disincentivizes corporate landlords from competing against smaller landlords by stopping corporate landlords’ most egregious behavior.
- Prop 21 does not stop you from making a profit on your property. In fact, Prop 21 codifies the right of landlords to make a fair return on their investment. Even those cities that adopt rent control after Prop 21 passes will have to ensure landlords in their city can make a fair profit.
- Finally, rent control does not mean you can't increase the rent or evict problem tenants. Landlords can still increase rents under rent control - just by a fair amount linked to the cost of living. It will also allow landlords to adjust rent increases as needed to ensure landlords don’t lose money.
People of Color
- Black Americans
- There is a deep-rooted history of racism in the U.S. housing system. From Jim Crow-era segregation to gentrification, both past and current racist practices have negatively affected Black Americans, and other minorities, as renters and homeowners.
- Black renters spend 43.7% of their household's income on rent. That's up from 39.6% in 2011. This is far worse in our biggest cities. In San Francisco, Black renters spend 74.8% of their income on rent. In Los Angeles, that number is 63.7%.
- Because black workers are paid less than their white counterparts for the same work, they’re often forced to spend more of their income on rent, making them more rent burdened.
- Systemic racism has caused a disproportionate number of black people to become homeless In L.A. County, where 8% of the overall population is Black, but people represent 34% of those experiencing homelessness.
- Gentrification in many low-income communities in Los Angeles has fueled the displacement of Latino populations.
- Nearly 60% of Latino renters in California spend too much money for rent, with nearly ⅓ of Latino renters spending at least half of their income on rent. In Los Angeles, the average Latino renters spend over 60% of their income on rent.
- Because Latino workers are paid less than their white counterparts for the same work, they’re often forced to spend more of their income on rent, making them more rent-burdened.
- Undocumented Latino renters are more likely to experience unfair evictions and landlord harassment because they have fewer resources to fight back and often fear deportation.
- Unhoused Latinos are systematically undercounted because they are more likely to sleep outside of traditional homeless settings.
- The number of Latino residents experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles has more than doubled in recent years.
- Latino individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles are less likely to receive support due to cultural and language barriers.
- Asian Americans
- The "Model Minority" myth and assumptions that all Asian Americans are high earners leave Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) vulnerable to being excluded from conversations about California's housing affordability crisis.
- Low-income AAPIs face a lack of quality, affordable housing. As rents in historically Asian-American communities, like San Francisco's Chinatown and South Market, soar, many face rapid gentrification, displacement, and homelessness.
- Studies have shown that homelessness among Asian American Pacific Islanders is growing more quickly than any other ethnic group.
- Prop 21 will give all communities the option to protect the most vulnerable renters from predatory landlords and egregious rent hikes, the root causes of the housing affordability and homelessness crises.
- Transgender Individuals
- Transgender people are often discriminated against based on their gender identity, turned away from shelters, or forced to stay in shelters with members of their biological sex rather than their gender identity. In some cases, this has led to death.
- Almost 20% of transgender individuals will experience homelessness at some point in their lives.
- Prop 21 includes increased renter protections, which will help protect transgender renters against discriminatory housing practices and keep rents affordable, reducing their risk of becoming homeless.
- LGBTQ Youth
- 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. And LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their heterosexual peers.
- 26% of homeless LGBTQ youth report being forced out of their homes solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Keeping neighborhoods affordable with rent control means more attainable housing options for LGBTQ youth who might otherwise end up on the street.
- LGBTQ Seniors
- LGBT elders have a higher risk of being forced into isolation, hostile living environments, or even homelessness.
- More than 33% of LGBTQ seniors rent their homes, making them vulnerable to housing discrimination, rent hikes, and eviction.
- LGBTQ seniors are less likely to have adult children who can support or care for them, which means they’re more likely to end up in nursing homes or care facilities.
- Only 50% of senior-age LGBTQ Americans in long-term care said they were comfortable being out about their orientation.
- Prop 21 means more long-term, stable rental housing for LGBTQ seniors, allowing them to stay in their own homes. They are less likely to experience discrimination and more likely to be comfortable being out as LGBTQ.
- Unhoused veterans have received the most targeted funding for addressing homelessness, but with very little change.
- Most veterans experiencing homelessness are over age 50, and often have significant disabilities and medical conditions that are made worse by unstable housing situations.
- As more veterans are pushed out of their homes to make way for higher rent-paying tenants, they often struggle to find affordable places to live. Vacancy control will help prevent them from being displaced in the first place.
People with Disabilities
- People with disabilities are disproportionately likely to experience homelessness. Nearly 25% of people experiencing homelessness are also living with a disability.
- Older adults are particularly at-risk for homelessness related to physical disabilities. In Los Angeles County, a study showed 89% of the older homeless population were living with physical disabilities.
- People with disabilities often experience housing, health care, employment, and wage discrimination, making it more difficult for them to find and keep secure, affordable housing.
- Social Security Income doesn’t keep up with rising rents. From 2012, rents in L.A. County increased at three times the rate SSI did.
- Prop 21 will help people with disabilities by providing more renter protections against eviction and discrimination.
- You don't need statistics and studies to understand the impact of California's affordability crisis; you feel the effects every day.
- For the thousands of Californians who are currently unhoused, past policies and promises by politicians vowing to end the state's homeless crisis have failed.
- Large rent hikes increase homelessness in communities. Prop 21 will help more renters avoid homelessness.
- Prop 21 allows the expansion of rent control throughout California, which gives local governments the power to implement tenant-friendly protections that limit annual rent increases, prevent displacement, and make living in California affordable for all of us.
- Rent-controlled tenants are more likely to rely on public transit than tenants who live in newer luxury units.
- Renters who live closer to their jobs help to reduce tailpipe emissions from cars.
- Lowest income groups are more likely to have walking and bicycling commutes, which make our communities cleaner.