Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A world without Costa-Hawkins

Jonathan Madison, a thoughtful writer and a native of Pacifica, has written a sensible article for the SMDJ.  He explains that the problem is lack of housing, not the price of rents. Here is his perspective on why Costa-Hawkins is needed.

Fasten your seat belts, ladies and gentlemen. The rent control fight of our time is upon us. Only this time, the fight will have lasting effects on residents statewide.
After several unsuccessful attempts by the state Legislature to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act — the landmark legislation protecting the rights of property owners against extreme forms of rent control — an alliance of advocacy groups filed a statewide ballot initiative Oct. 23 to repeal the legislation.
Before the law’s inception in 1995, five major cities — including San Francisco, Berkeley and West Hollywood — placed limits on rent increases regardless of whether rental units were vacant. Today, Costa-Hawkins remains the one law standing in the gap for property owners to charge market rent for their units. Under the Act, apartments and single-family homes built after 1995 are exempt from local rent control laws. Without Costa-Hawkins, property owners would be left to the mercy of unrestrained rent limitations imposed by municipalities.
Beyond that, Costa-Hawkins spurs an economic engine for our state in that it exempts new construction of single-family homes from rent control. This incentivizes construction companies to build housing units throughout our state, enabling us to keep up with population growth’s skyrocketing demand for housing.
Submitted by Jim Wagner


mike bell said...

Thanks Johnathon for writing this and thanks Jim for posting it.
This is the reality of rent control nearly every place it has reared it's ugly head.
Unfortunately in Pacifica there is a gang mentality and a mobs' rush toward rent control as a wrong headed fix to a shortage of housing. Low supply and huge demand is the foundational cause of our housing problems. The sickest part of this sad fable is that the very people who are pushing rent control are the same people who have resisted and sabotaged any and all efforts to build affordable housing for the last 30 years.
These supremely selfish hypocrites also feel entitled to help themselves to the private property and rights of those of us who have worked very hard our whole lives to obtain both.
If Measure C passes it will create a disaster for the entire city that may take decades to recover from, if ever. If Measure C fails, we need to force our extremely biased council to start facilitating development of affordable housing and to put a stop to this self consuming problem once and for all. Pacifica, and for that matter many churches and charitable entities, have excess property which can be donated (if every one agrees) to a developer willing to build affordable, high density, public transit centric housing that qualifying families can rent or buy. The selfish NIMBY mindset which is the root cause of most of Pacifica's problems has got to be exposed and mitigated if we want a livable and enjoyable city for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Rent control ain't happening in Pacifica. The first set of results are in. C is deader than dead.