Advocates of Richmond Rent Control to Begin Gathering Signatures for Ballot Measure Saturday

Friday, March 18, 2016
Mike Aldax
Richmond Standard

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.

An attempt last year to pass a rent control ordinance failed after being opposed by landlords and three members of a divided City Council.

But rent control advocates who have joined Fair and Affordable Richmond, including tenants rights advocates, labor unions and the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), have renewed the effort. Their proposed November ballot measure seeks to establish a rent board in Richmond that would set annual limits on rent increases for renters living in units built before 1995, and would allow tenants to appeal increases. The measure also includes implementing a just cause for eviction policy.

While advocates say rent control is needed to protect residents from rising rents brought on by the Bay Area technology boom, opponents point to economists who say rent control doesn’t work to keep rents down, and thus hasn’t been adopted by another jurisdiction in decades.

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