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Berkeley Proposition Q: Rent Stabilization Ordinance

CCO Public Domian. Resized and cropped.

Measure Q is Berkeley's response if Californians approve Proposition 10 this November, which would repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act. Quick reminder: Costa Hawkins is a 1995 law that largely prevents cities and towns from having rent control.

So what would happen if both Proposition 10 and Measure Q pass?


Berkeley would largely return to its original 1980 rent control ordinance.Most multi-unit properties in Berkeley that were built before June 1980 have rent control. It sought to protect tenants against wrongful evictions and keep housing affordable. But the legislation would have three new updates:


First, if Measure Q and Proposition 10 pass new buildings would be exempt from rent control for the first 20 years.


Second, rent increases made lawfully under Costa Hawkins would be preserved. That means current rents would become the new baseline.


Third, accessory dwelling units and the main houses they’re attached to are permanently exempt from rent control if the main house is lived in by the owner.


But if Costa Hawkins is repealed and Measure Q is defeated… then tenants in rent-controlled units would pay whatever the rent was in 1980, plus the incremental increases between then and now.


Measure Q was put on the ballot by a 5-4 vote from the City Council. The measure is also supported by the Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board. Currently, there is no official opposition nor has any fundraising been disclosed in association with the measure.


So if you want to vote in favor of updating the city's rent control ordinance if Costa Hawkins is repealed vote YES. If you don’t, vote NO.