Why Rent Control?

Everyone should have a safe, healthy and affordable place to call home, but out of control housing costs, driven by corporate landlords and big real estate, are causing more and more people to lose their homes --- and our politicians are letting them.

That’s why Californians are taking matters into our own hands, placing the Affordable Housing Act on the ballot. By restoring the right of local communities to protect all families from rent gouging, we can make California affordable for all of us! 

But what is rent control and how does it help me?

For decades, Big Real Estate and corporate landlords have funded misleading industry-backed studies that seek to turn those that stand to benefit most from rent control, against it. Thats why we've put together a set of common industry lies to help you understand why



Rent control is good for the economy. It puts money in tenants’ pockets that is spent in the local economy. That helps local businesses, creates jobs, and helps the community thrive.

Rent control will hurt the economy by decreasing supply of housing and causing costs to rise for everyone.

Rent control is good for mom and pop landlords and homeowners.  By state law, any rent control law must guarantee a fair rate of return for landlords, while protecting tenants' right to a fair and stable rent. Small landlords and homeowners benefit from having stable tenants and stable communities. Rent control protects neighborhoods from increasing homelessness and improves public health for all. 

Rent control will hurt mom and pop landlords by not allowing them to the increase the rent.

Construction rates remain stable under rent control, and in some places have even INCREASED. Studies show that construction rates between rent controlled cities and cities without rent control are the same - and in some cities, rates have even increased after rent control policies were adopted.

Rent control will stop all new construction in its tracks, worsening the the housing shortage and making rents increase for all.

Costa Hawkins is a disastrous LOOPHOLE that leaves out thousands of families from critical protections.

Costa Hawkins is the reason why cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles with rent control are still expensive. In some places, up to 60% of all housing units are not protected due to Costa Hawkins. 

Passed in 1995, Costa Hawkins ties the hands of local communities from protecting renters in three ways:

  1. It prohibits single family rental units and condos from having rent control
  2. It prohibits buildings built after 1995 from having rent control - or the year in which rent control was initially passed in your city
  3. It eliminates "vacancy control," allowing landlords to raise the rent unlimited amounts between tenants when the unit becomes vacant. This provides an incentive for some landlords to harass longtime rent controlled tenants out of their homes so they can attract higher earning tenants - accelerating displacement and unaffordable housing for all. 


The battle over Costa Hawkins from Oakland North on Vimeo.

Paid for by Committee to Save Our Neighborhoods, Sponsored by Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action. Committee major funding from Open Society Policy Center, Inc.