OAKLAND (CBS SF) – The California Democratic Party Sunday voted overwhelmingly to endorse Proposition 10, the statewide Affordable Housing Act, which would repeal the anti-rent-control Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and return power to regulate rents to local communities.

Signed into law in 1995, Costa-Hawkins prevents cities and counties from applying rent control to apartments built after 1995, or to single-family rental units and condos. Costa-Hawkins also allows landlords to raise the rent as much as they want when a unit becomes vacant.

The Yes on Prop 10 effort eclipsed the 60-percent support threshold to secure the party endorsement for the Nov. 6 general election.

This endorsement dovetails with a February addition to the official state Democratic party platform that specifically calls for “allowing local communities to create strong tenant and affordability protections against displacement, speculation, rent increases, and evictions without interference from state law.”

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“Securing the Democratic Party endorsement is huge,” said Joe Trippi of Trippi Norton Rossmeissl Campaigns, the lead strategist of the Yes on 10 campaign. “The party’s endorsement helps make clear that it stands with the millions of Californians struggling to pay the rent and supports returning the power to respond to the state’s housing affordability crisis back to the people and back to local communities.”

Prop 10 also has its critics, one of their main assertions being that the spread of local rent control will have a chilling effect on construction of new apartments in California.

“From Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to labor unions such as the State Building and Trades Council of California to the NAACP, we are confident that most Democrats will oppose Michael Weinstein’s Prop 10 because it will worsen California’s affordable housing crisis,” Steven Maviglio, a political consultant for anti-Prop 10 forces said Sunday night.

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