After a month of heated debate over rent control recommendations proposed by the San Jose Housing Department, a more landlord-friendly alternative has been put on the table.
The Mountain View City Council's preferred plan to ameliorate the city's rental crisis was delivered a setback after failing to secure enough votes in a second reading of a tentatively approved ordinance last month. While delayed for nearly a month, the rental ordinance is expected to pass with a majority when it is reviewed again at the end of April.
The proposed ordinance, dubbed the Rental-Housing Dispute Resolution Program, creates a mandatory mediation process, if requested, for renters and landlords for any rent increases beyond a certain threshold.
Disappointed by the City Council's unwillingness to take stronger action, advocates for Mountain View's large tenant population are bringing a rent control measure to voters. A new ballot measure submitted for the November election would impose a cap on rent hikes in the city, forcing most landlords to keep annual increases in the range of 2 to 5 percent.
The City Council approved a temporary moratorium on rent hikes to try to stop the avalanche of displacements impacting many renters throughout the city. The council voted unanimously for the moratorium after first hearing from hundreds of speakers Tuesday night and into the wee hours Wednesday.
The moratorium, a 90-day emergency ordinance that ties the annual allowable rent increase to the consumer price index, provides the city an opportunity to do outreach so tenants know and can exercise their rental rights, City Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney said.
Kim Powell has lived in West Harlem all her life, most of it in her rent-regulated apartment. The 53-year-old remembers cruising the neighborhood in her father’s car as a kid, looking at the gutted and burned-out buildings of the 1970s. But over the last two decades many of the homes and shops in Powell’s neighborhood have been restored. As early as the 2000s, gentrified Harlem was on the entire country’s radar as Bill Clinton set up offices for his foundation in the neighborhood.
Charles Edwards is a merry self-described hillbilly from Tennessee who knows much about Victorian-era railroads and not so much about political campaigning.
But this year, the 77-year-old retired city gardener will be knocking on doors in Alameda to persuade voters of this maritime city on San Francisco Bay to support a citizen initiative to cap rent increases. Last June, the rent on his one-bedroom flat increased 24 percent to $1,300, leaving him $289 a month for utilities, food and other expenses.
Rent control in Santa Rosa now looks much more likely following a key vote Thursday that revealed a majority of City Council members appear to back the controversial housing policy.
A three-member subcommittee charged with exploring various options to rein in rising rents voted 2-1 in favor of recommending the full council adopt a modern form of rent control known as rent stabilization.
A group advocating for rent control in Richmond said it will begin gathering signatures on Saturday with the goal of placing the policy on the November ballot.
The group, which calls itself Fair and Affordable Richmond, needs to gather 4,198 signatures from city voters to qualify its ballot measure. It will hold a kick-off event for the signature gathering effort on Saturday, 11 a.m. at Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Ave. Signature gatherers will be going door to door in neighborhoods.
On Saturday March 19th, it will be a big day for the coalition group “Fair and Affordable Richmond”, as they start their signature gathering campaign to place their Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Protection ballot measure on the November ballot. The Coalition will have until June to gather 4,198 signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.
Community members involved in the renter protection campaign will be meeting at Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Ave, Richmond, CA 94801, on Saturday morning, March 19, at 11am.
Hundreds of San Jose residents packed a high school auditorium Monday night to hear the mayor and council members answer questions about proposed changes to the city's rent control ordinance, which covers around 43,000 units built before 1979.
The meeting took place at Overfelt High School and was organized by People Acting Together in Community, a network of religious congregations from San Jose and elsewhere that is active in social justice issues. PACT is part of the tenant advocacy group the Silicon Valley Renters' Association.