LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In an unusual development in California’s ballot campaign for Proposition 10, a ballot measure that will restore the right of local communities to set fair limits on rent increases and address California’s housing affordability crisis, PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association), the drug industry’s trade group and chief lobbying arm, has donated $500,000 to the ‘No on 10’ campaign.
STAT, the medical news organization that first reported the donation this week, questioned why the drug industry’s lobbying arm is getting involved in a political campaign, “… to sway a policy fight with no clear connection to medicine or health care.”
In a prepared statement, a PhRMA spokesperson claimed that the drug and biopharma industries have over 900,000 people working and living in California—2.3% of the state’s population—and the industry is concerned the measure, if passed by voters in November, “…could make housing harder to find.”
The unfounded PhRMA claim drew widespread skepticism and criticism.
“The drug industry and its lobbyists at PhRMA have joined the Billionaire Boys Club, getting into bed with greedy corporate landlords out to protect their profits by trying to defeat Proposition 10, a critical step to addressing California’s housing affordability crisis,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a primary backer of Proposition 10. “AHF has fought, and continues to wage, a fierce battle to hold drug companies and the industry accountable for their outrageous pricing and policies. For the drug industry to join with the likes of millionaire and billionaire landlords like Blackstone Group’s Steve Schwarzman, Donald Sterling, Sam Zell, Western National Group’s Michael Hayde and others comes as no surprise. California voters beware: The petty people at PhRMA who bring you sky high drug prices now want to help predatory landlords bring you rent that’s too damn high!”
AHF’s Focus on Housing, Homelessness and Housing Policy
In recognition of the critical role that stable housing plays in the health and wellbeing of its patients and the public in general, as well as in response to the longer commutes that AHF staff members are facing in order to find affordable housing, AHF stepped up its role in the housing arena over the past year.
Since October 2017, AHF and its Healthy Housing Foundation, a program spearheaded by AHF to address the housing and homelessness crisis by providing faster access to housing with a focus on addressing the needs of extremely low-income individuals and those unsheltered or homeless with priority placement also offered to those with chronic health conditions, have purchased four hotels or motels in the Los Angeles area to repurpose as homeless or extremely low-income housing.
These properties include:
- The Madison Hotel, a 202-room hotel on 7th St., on Skid Row in Downton Los Angeles
- The King Edward Hotel, 150-rooms, at 5th and Los Angeles St. on Skid Row
- The Baltimore Hotel, 204-rooms, directly across from the King Edward Hotel, and
- The former Sunset 8 Motel in Hollywood, 27-rooms, now rebranded as Sunrise on Sunset (SOS) and housing formerly homeless families.
ABOUT PROPOSITION 10
Proposition 10, the Affordable Housing Act, is a ballot measure that will restore the right of local communities to set fair limits on rent increases on all types of homes in order to address California’s housing affordability crisis. To learn more, please visit voteyesonprop10.org or find us online @VoteYesOn10.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 988,000 individuals in 41 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more, visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.