The United States is the wealthiest country in the world. We spend billions of dollars on the military, trillions bailing out Wall Street, and similar numbers in tax breaks for the top 1%. Clearly, there is no lack of resources to address the housing crisis and homelessness – simply a lack of political will. This is something we must change and California can lead the way.

A recent study conducted by the University of California, San Francisco shows that unaffordable housing costs are the main driver of homelessness in California. Conclusions can be directly drawn from the studies key finding, that continuing to build unaffordable market rate housing is not the answer and that responsible implementation of rent control can help preserve and keep housing affordable. Rent control does not deter housing production or discourage investment in the rental market, on the contrary, it fosters responsible landlord practices and encourages sustainable development, achieving a fair balance between the interests of tenants and property owners.

It’s time to dispel any misconceptions surrounding rent control and foster a healthy and inclusive housing market. As such, an initiative sponsored by the Healthy Housing Foundation and AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) titled Justice for Renters is looking to give local CA government the ability to enact or expand rent control in response to the unaffordable housing costs in their communities. Rent control can play a crucial role in stabilizing housing costs, providing individuals and families a sense of security, reducing the risk of eviction and improving access to essential services, ultimately helping to put an end to the cycle of homelessness.