Prop 10 would repeal the contra hawkins act and allow for future rent control to be voted on. Raini Kellogg, political science junior participates in a rally to gain support for prop 10 in Arcata on Oct 23 2018. | Photo by Tony Wallin

An attempt at rent control

Proposition 10 rally held near Humboldt Property Management
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Proposition 10 rally held near Humboldt Property Management

Humboldt State alumna and chairman of the Green Party Kelsey Reedy is an unexpected candidate for someone affected by homelessness. She is one of many in Humboldt county facing this prevailing issue.

“I worked full-time and couldn’t afford housing,” Reedy said. “Even when I was a student I had to live in McKinleyville or Eureka because I couldn’t afford housing in Arcata.”

Reedy works full time for multiple non-profits in the Humboldt area and is a part of the many community members and students affected by high rental prices. Reedy said those who have housing now might be affected by any extra bill or cost, which can undermine the situation and result in losing housing altogether.

“I was just barely making rent before,” Reedy said. “So now that I had another bill I couldn’t afford rent anymore.”

On Oct. 24 the Green Party and Humboldt chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation held a rally near the Humboldt Property Management building in support of Proposition 10.

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Prop 10 would repeal the contra hawkins act and allow for future rent control to be voted on. Eric Rydberg, a local community advocate, participates in a rally to gain support for Prop 10 in Arcata on Oct 23 2018. | Photo by Tony Wallin

Prop 10 is a California proposition that will allow county boards to regulate and implement rent control. This is a direct challenge to the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act of 1995.

Although there are many complicated stipulations within the law, one of the main supporting arguments of the Costa-Hawkins act was that it would increase the incentives for developers to build more housing, thus flooding the housing market. This, in theory, was supposed to make renting cheaper as there would be more competition.

Local community advocate and candidate for McKinleyville’s Community Services District Board of Directors Eric Rydberg, feels that is simply not true.

“Since (the passing of Costa Hawkins Act) we have seen that California’s housing problems can be sourced to it,” Rydberg said.

Rydberg said the Costa-Hawkins Act was billed by Democrat and Republican politicians as something that it was not.

“They sold it as something that will allow us to build more (affordable) housing,” Rydberg said. “We can see they are not building more low income housing and are building more luxury condos and apartments.”

Rydberg explained how he thought that gentrification compounded with income inequality has made situations in different counties across the state similar in regard to the rental housing crisis. Rydberg says this is why we need to have local counties regulate the tenant and rental market crises.

“What this is doing is just giving municipal governments the opportunity to take a look at it and make decision for themselves (the community),” Rydberg said.

Many advocating for yes on Prop 10 say it is a way to facilitate a conversation between landlords and tenants to come to the best understanding on what to do about rent control.

Roger Tuan, an HSU student and local community advocate for yes on Prop 10, said this is a way of keeping what many consider the characteristics of Humboldt within the community.

“Part of the charm of this place is that its is not Portland, Seattle or San Diego,” Tuan said. “We have our own unique characteristics here.”

Tuan said this comes from the cohabitation of students, landlords, community members and small time businesses. He said he fears that gentrification and over priced rental markets will chip away at Humboldt and Arcata’s community and supposed charm.

“They’re here as landlords but also here as part of the community and hopefully there is something about this community that they love and think is worth protecting,” Tuan said.

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