In a landslide victory for renters throughout California, Proposition 98 — a measure that would end rent control in the state — failed.

This is a great victory for every renter in California, but particularly for low-income families threatened by gentrification. In high demand areas (like our neighborhood, the Figueroa Corridor) the market seems to drive prices higher and higher relentlessly so it becomes clear that affordable housing will completely disappear unless it is explicitly provided for. According to a member of the LA Department of Planning, the City, County, and State don’t have the funds to provide for affordable housing. That leaves the federal government (and no one is holding their breath waiting for that to happen).

So how do we provide for affordable housing? One way is by making the big developers who want to put high rise luxury apartments in our neighborhood provide affordable housing set-asides for our families so they aren’t displaced (See Gilda Haas’s article, “Community Benefits or Community Control” at the Making Sense Blog for an excellent analysis of this tactic that puts it in its proper context). Prop. 98 would have made rent control illegal AND it would have made affordable housing set-asides illegal.

But since 98 failed, we still have a powerful tool to preserve affordable housing.

Thanks to every voter that made this victory possible!

“Prop. 99 Passes; Prop. 98 Defeated” in the LA Times