Letter to the Editor: Prop 10, if passed, will only worsen housing crisis

Los Angeles has been hit hard by California’s housing crisis. A critical shortage in affordable housing is putting real economic pressure on families throughout the region, creating economic stress and making it harder to find safe, affordable places to live.

In the upcoming midterm elections, Proposition 10 threatens to make a dire situation even worse. The measure would only exacerbate the current housing crisis and make it harder to build the affordable housing necessary to meet the needs of millions of people across California.

Because the city of Los Angeles is not building enough housing to support its economic growth, people across the region are paying the price. Increased demand for housing is driving up prices. The housing supply shortage has made demand more intense and has driven down vacancy rates while driving up prices for rental units.

In the process, the shortage of available housing has impacted neighborhoods like Los Feliz and Silverlake. Over the last several years, thousands of longtime residents have been forced out of their homes as demand for housing in the area skyrockets.

Proposition 10 is the wrong approach to solving our housing crisis. Instead of providing targeted aid to those who need help, or building more housing to stabilize rents, most of the benefits of Prop 10 would by reaped by those the top of the economic ladder, while finding housing would become even more difficult for low- and middle-income residents.

Proposition 10 would make it harder to build the affordable housing the city desperately needs. Housing developers often rely on market-rate units to help fund the construction of affordable units, which they make available at controlled, below-market rates. Prop 10 would make this model untenable and prevent thousands of new housing units from being built.

To make matters worse, Prop 10 could drive down property values and cost state and local governments hundreds of millions of dollars in lost tax revenues, according to the state’s nonpartisan legislative analyst’s office. It would further cut funding for key services like education, health care and public safety, while increasing pressure for future tax increases to make up the shortfall.

Our current housing crisis is largely a problem of supply and demand — one that is worsened by Proposition 10. That’s why gubernatorial candidates Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox have both publicly opposed Proposition 10. They know it will tie the hands of elected officials and community leaders seeking real solutions to California’s housing crisis.

Solving California’s housing crisis will take a comprehensive approach that includes protection for current tenants as well as those looking for affordable housing in the future. Unfortunately, Prop 10 is a flawed measure that would worsen many of the problems the measure attempts to solve.

Ivan Torrez

Junior, International Relations