Los Angeles has been hit hard by California’s housing crisis. A critical shortage in affordable housing is putting real economic pressure on families throughout the region, making it harder to find safe, affordable places to live and creating economic stress.
The African American community has seen skyrocketing rents push up home prices and threaten to drive residents out of neighborhoods they have called home for years.
A measure on the November ballot, Proposition 10, would just add fuel to the current housing crisis, and make it harder to build the new affordable housing we need to meet the needs of millions of people across California. The measure could also make it harder for future renters to find affordable units, making our current crisis even worse.
People across our region are paying the price because we are not building enough housing to support our economic growth. The housing supply shortage has made demand more intense, and has driven down vacancy rates while driving up prices for rental units.
In the process, a shortage of available housing has transformed neighborhoods across Los Angeles, including historically African American parts of the city. Over the last several years, thousands of long-time residents have been forced out of their homes as demand for housing in the area skyrockets.
Proposition 10 is the wrong approach to solving our housing crisis. Instead of targeting aid to those who need help – or building more housing to stabilize rents across the region – most of the benefits of Prop. 10 would go to those at the top of the economic ladder, while finding housing would become even more difficult for low- and middle-income residents.
Proposition 10 would make it harder to build the affordable housing we need. Housing developers often rely on market-rate units to help fund the construction of affordable units, which they make available at controlled, below-market rates. Proposition 10 would make this model untenable, and would keep thousands of new housing units from being built.
To make matters worse, the state’s non-partisan legislative analyst said Prop. 10 could drive down property values, and cost state and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenues. That would cut money for key services like education, health care and public safety, while increasing pressure for future tax increases to make up the shortfall.
Our current housing crisis is largely a problem of supply and demand, and it is a problem that is only made worse by Proposition 10. That’s why the California Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gavin Newsom and the Republican candidate, John Cox, have both come out against Proposition 10. They know it will tie the hands of elected officials and community leaders to find real solutions to California’s housing crisis.
We all know that California is in the midst of a critical housing shortage and affordability crisis. Solving a problem of this magnitude will take a comprehensive approach that includes protections for current tenants, as well as those who will be looking for affordable housing in the future. But Proposition 10 is a flawed measure that would make worse many of the problems the measure claims to try to solve.