Prop 21

a YES vote supports this ballot initiative to allow local governments to enact rent control on housing that was first occupied over 15 years ago, with an exception for landlords who own no more than two homes with distinct titles or subdivided interests.


a NO vote opposes this ballot initiative, thereby continuing to prohibit rent control on housing that was first occupied after February 1, 1995, and housing units with distinct titles, such as single-family homes.

Official Arguments (click ▸ to expand)


🚫 San Francisco Chronicle

"While researchers have found that rent control can confer substantial benefits on affected tenants, it does so at the expense not only of property owners but also of other tenants. And those benefits are not reliably distributed to those who need them most. The greatest cost, meanwhile, will be to a housing market that can ill afford it, further restricting supply and inflating prices. Californians should vote no on Prop. 21 or risk aggravating the crisis it purports to address."

🚫 The San Diego Union-Tribune

"In 2018, state voters decisively rejected Proposition 10, another rent control measure. Then in 2019 state lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted Assembly Bill 1482, a rent control bill. Apparently, Sacramento didn’t get the message. It’s time to send another one. Rent control is the wrong way to help Californians struggling with housing. Lawmakers who are juggling a lot during this pandemic need to not lose sight of that. The long-term solution is listening to experts and building new houses."

✅ American Civil Liberties Union SoCal

"Vote for rent control and affordable housing.

Prop 21 allows local communities to institute or expand rent control, which would limit rent increases and preserve affordable housing. California’s housing crisis impacts renters, homeowners, middle-income families, and low-income families alike. With increasing rent and stagnant wages, a raging pandemic, and evictions and homelessness on the rise, it’s never been more vital to protect renters. Vote YES on Prop 21 to prevent displacement and keep families housed."

✅ Los Angeles Times

"Ultimately, the solution to California’s housing crisis is to build more housing, especially affordable housing. That will take reforming zoning codes and regulations that make it impossible to build apartments and townhomes in many communities across the state. It will require reducing onerous fees and bureaucratic hurdles that layer on costs and push up the price of new homes. This is vital work to make California more affordable, but it will take years to construct enough homes to bring down prices. Until then, rent control can be a helpful tool to provide housing stability."

🚫 The Mercury News

"Throughout all this, however, the economic fundamentals remain the same: High rents in California are due to a shortage in the housing supply. We simply haven’t built homes fast enough to keep up with population growth. As a result, more people are competing for limited numbers of dwellings. But the tougher the rent restrictions in the state, the less likely developers will construct desperately needed units. Rent control will only make the housing shortage worse. Which is why voters should reject Proposition 21 on the Nov. 3 ballot."

🚫 Orange County Register

"Preponderant majorities of economists across the political spectrum have repeatedly criticized rent control for reducing the quality and quantity of housing. California’s housing woes trace to our lawmakers and regulators, who over the years have imposed a licensing, permitting and construction regime that raises costs and makes home construction more difficult. Rent control would just add one more layer of complication to the process, and demoralize key market participants unnecessarily."

🚫 The Desert Sun

"As was true in 2018, this measure would only make California’s real housing problem — the dearth of affordable housing development — more difficult. It will only add the uncertainty of local rent control boards to California’s already Byzantine and costly housing development process."

✅ California Democratic Party

"Keeps families in their homes, prevents homelessness, and preserves affordable housing."

🚫 Republican Party

"Makes Housing Crisis Worse

Prop 21 gives unelected bureaucrats power to add fees on apartments and even some single-

family homes -- all without a vote of the people. Prop 21 will make the housing crisis worse."