What it would do:

Allow cities to introduce new restrictions on market rents or expand existing rent control policies.

What it would cost the government:

It depends. If cities across the state enact new rent control laws or expand old ones, that could result in less construction and reduce rental property values, resulting in lower tax revenue. But it could also allow existing tenants who save on lower rent to spend more on consumer goods, resulting in higher sales tax proceeds. And then again, it’s possible that very few cities will respond with new laws at all, in which case the effect will be negligible.

Why it is on the ballot:

In 1995 the California Legislature placed a statewide moratorium on rent control laws. It also banned cities from applying existing rent regulation ordinances to new units. Now that the state is facing an affordable housing crisis, some housing advocates want to give cities a tool to put a legal lid on rents.


Arguments in Favor:

The rent is too damn high! California renters are being priced out of the state’s big cities, driving them out into the suburbs, out of state, or onto the street. This is a crisis that needs an immediate solution, even as lawmakers work on a longer term fix.

Arguments Against:

If rents are kept artificially low, it becomes less profitable to build new units or maintain and improve old ones. That’s counterproductive: a shortage of housing is how we got into this mess to begin with.


See for yourself



California Democratic Party

California Teachers Association

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

California Nurses Association

California State Sen. Kevin De Léon

Sacramento Bee editorial board


California Republican Party

California Apartment Association

California Chamber of Commerce

State Building and Construction Trades Council of California

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom


Prop. 10 Campaign Contributions

Going Deeper


Gimme Shelter Podcast: Rent Control Wars


Exploring the promise—and unintended consequences—of rent control


Californians: Here's why your housing costs are so high


My Turn Pro/Con on Proposition 10


Why drug makers are opposing rent control