There is a polarized debate around rent control unfolding here in California. One side of that debate is working to qualify a measure on the November ballot that would fully repeal California’s Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (which would remove statewide restrictions on local rent control policies) in an effort to protect tenants from rising rents and displacement. The other side of the debate is concerned that this repeal will disincentivize both investment in existing rental homes as well as much-needed construction of new housing.
Today, the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley has released a new brief intended to stimulate new conversations about alternative paths forward on this issue in the state. The brief proposes two policy ideas aimed at protecting the state's renters and creating more long-term affordability without reducing the overall supply of rental housing.
A related post on the Terner blog calls on stakeholders, thought leaders and policymakers to come together to engage in a new dialogue on rent control that goes beyond the binary options currently characterizing the debate.