Business Groups Announce Opposition to Proposition 21

SACRAMENTO – Twenty major and regional California business groups announced their opposition to Proposition 21, the November ballot measure financed by Michael Weinstein and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation that would undermine the strongest statewide rent control and renter protections in the nation.

The groups say the measure would damage the state’s economy at a time when it is at its most vulnerable, hurting affordable housing projects and small property owners. A similar measure, defeated overwhelmingly by California voters in 2018, also was strongly opposed by business groups.

The groups include: the California Chamber of Commerce; California Mortgage Bankers Association; Bay Area Builders Exchange; Bay Area Homeowners Network; Central City Association Los Angeles; Davis Chamber of Commerce; Los Angeles County Business Federation (LA BizFed); Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce; Nevada County Contractors’ Association; North Coast Builders Exchange; Orange County Business Council; Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association; Placer County Contractors’ Association, Inc.; Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce; Regional Chamber of Commerce – San Gabriel Valley; Sacramento Regional Builders Exchange; San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership; San Ramon Chamber of Commerce; The Silicon Valley Organization; and Valley Industry and Commerce Association.

“California’s housing crisis has long been a focus for our state’s business community,” says Allan Zaremberg, President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber). “California’s high housing costs and limited supply put California businesses at a competitive disadvantage when trying to hire workers. Unfortunately, this flawed initiative, which is virtually identical to one rejected by California voters just two years ago, would do nothing to increase California’s housing supply, and could actually end up hurting the very tenants the measure aims to protect. It will have a chilling effect on housing construction, and further distort California’s broken housing market.” 

“Expanding rent control will result in higher housing costs, less housing being built, and make it harder for renters to find an affordable place to live,” added Stuart Waldman, President, Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA). “That is why California voters rejected a nearly identical proposal just two years ago, and why businesses throughout the San Fernando Valley oppose this latest flawed rent control initiative. We need to find ways to make housing more affordable. California’s housing market is broken, particularly in the Valley, where demand dramatically outpaces our existing supply of affordable places to live. In the midst of an unprecedented economic crisis, this proposal is the wrong solution to the wrong problem, and would make it even harder to build the affordable housing California desperately needs.”

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Paid for by No on Prop 21: Californians for Responsible Housing, a coalition of seniors, veterans, affordable housing advocates, labor & social justice organizations, sponsored by California Apartment Association. Committee Major Funding from Essex Property Trust and Affiliated Entities; Equity Residential; and AvalonBay Communities.
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