Americans go to the polls on Tuesday in the midterm elections, and while much of the media coverage is focusing on the federal races for Congress and Senate, there’s an important ballot measure in California that urbanists should be paying attention to.
Proposition 10 would allow cities to implement rent control — currently illegal under state law — but Wall Street firms that bought up a ton of real estate in the aftermath of the financial crash are spending millions to oppose it. As Meagan Day describes it for Jacobin
, focusing on Blackstone:
A multibillion-dollar Wall Street private-equity corporation took advantage of the foreclosure crisis to become the largest single-family home landlord in California, contributing to rising rents all across the state, and is now using not only working people’s hard-earned rent money but also taxpayer subsidies and public employees’ pensions to fund a massive campaign against a ballot measure that would give cities the right to control the spiral of rents in the state.
Meanwhile, in London, despite being the center of the United Kingdom’s affordable-housing crisis, much of the new housing is still built for the wealthy
and essentially designed to be left empty because they’re investment properties, not homes. The private housing market has failed and it’s time for major policy change.