In 2020, Californians could see an initiative to expand rent control on their ballots—two years after 59 percent of voters rejected Proposition 10. Unlike Proposition 10, which would have allowed local governments to adopt rent control on any type of rental housing, the 2020 proposal would make exceptions for housing units first occupied within the last 15 years and owners of one or two residential units.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) co-sponsored Proposition 10, and an AHF division called Housing Is A Human Right is leading the campaign in support of the 2020 ballot initiative.
The campaigns surrounding Proposition 10 raised a combined $96.66 million. Opponents of Proposition 10 out-raised the support campaign by about 3-to-1. The Coalition for Affordable Housing led the campaign in support of the initiative. The coalition and allied committees raised $25.30 million, with AHF providing $22.52 million. The California Apartment Association (CAA) and the California Rental Housing Association (CalRHA) each organized a PAC to oppose Proposition 10. An additional three PACs formed to oppose the ballot initiative. Together, the five opposition committees raised a combined $71.37 million. The largest contributors included the California Association of Realtors Issues Mobilization PAC ($8.00 million), Blackstone Property Partners, L.P. and affiliated holdings ($5.81 million), and Essex Property Trust, Inc. ($5.62 million).
Michael Weinstein, president of AHF, said the 2020 campaign wished to enter into negotiations with officials and real estate representatives to avoid a ballot initiative but was prepared to work to place the initiative on the ballot. René Moya, director of Housing Is A Human Right, stated, “rent control is still very much a popular policy” and that the amount of money opponents spent against Proposition 10 was one reason for its failure in 2018.
The campaign for the initiative needs to collect 623,212 valid signatures within 180 days. Signature gathering can begin when the attorney general prepares the petition language, which had not occurred as of April 22. In 2018, proponents of Proposition 10 spent about $5.42 per signature but fewer signatures—365,880—were required.