Huntington Beach Assemblyman Travis Allen, Republican: Allen has a goal for developers to build at least 1 million new homes in his first four years as governor. He believes the state needs to strip away many of the regulations around home building, which he says would allow developers to increase the housing supply. He doesn’t support subsidizing low-income housing, arguing developers will build for people of all incomes if taxes and fees are lower.
The Huntington Beach Republican is also opposed to a potential November ballot measure to allow for the expansion of rent control. He believes rent control leads to housing shortages and says he’d work to eliminate all existing rent control policies across the state.
State Treasurer John Chiang, Democrat: Of all the candidates, Chiang is calling for the most government spending on housing. He would set a goal for the state to help finance 1.6 million homes for low- and moderate-income Californians from 2019 to 2030. He has also proposed a future $9-billion bond measure to subsidize new low-income construction, property tax breaks for developers who agree to set aside part of their projects for low-income families and additional tax revenue to cities that approve more housing.
Chiang is opposed to the potential rent control ballot measure, and believes that the state could change Costa-Hawkins, the law prohibiting the expansion of rent control, to allow for its broader use in certain circumstances.
Businessman John Cox, Republican: Cox, who owns a real estate investment and property management company, has a goal for developers to build 3 million new homes over the next decade. He said that the state needs to reduce regulations on builders, including replacing its primary environmental law governing development, the California Environmental Quality Act, with a less comprehensive measure. Cox also wants to allow Californians to be able to take the property tax benefits they receive under Proposition 13 with them when they move. In addition, Cox is against a potential November ballot measure to help rent control expansion.
Former state schools chief Delaine Eastin, Democrat:Eastin would set a goal of developers building 1 million new homes in her first four years in office, and would prioritize construction around transit hubs. She wants to rezone a lot more land for housing, including current commercial properties, increasing land available for duplexes and townhomes, and making it easier to build homes on smaller lots.
Of the top candidates in the race, Eastin has been the most supportive of expanding rent control as well as advocating for the repeal of the Ellis Act, which allows for the eviction of rent-controlled tenants if landlords convert their buildings to for-sale condominiums.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Democrat: Newsom wants developers to build 3.5 million homes from when he takes office through 2025, which would be an unprecedented building boom compared with modern California history. He wants a fivefold increase in a state tax credit to finance low-income housing, bringing the state budget cost to $500 million a year. And Newsom supports eliminating regulations that he contends make it difficult for developers to produce middle-income homes.
Newsom is against the potential rent control ballot measure and believes that the Costa-Hawkins law should be changed to add more renter protections.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Democrat: Like Newsom, Villaraigosa calls for building 3.5 million new homes through 2025. He wants to create a new version of a program that allows cities and counties to set aside some property tax dollars to help finance low-income housing. And he plans to set up a $10-billion revolving loan fund to help homeowners convert garages into separate houses or build stand-alone second units in their backyards.
Villaraigosa is against the potential rent control ballot measure and says that he would use potential changes to Costa-Hawkins as a bargaining chip in a larger package of policies to address housing affordability.