Richmond Renters File Initiative for an Affordable and Fair City

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Dean Preston
Tenants Together

Rent Control Ordinance Could Appear on November 2016 Ballot

February 23rd, 2016 led by Richmond City Council Member Gayle McLaughlin, Fair and Affordable Richmond, a coalition of renters, labor and homeowners (of which Tenants Together is a key member), requested from the City Clerk, title and summary for a potential November 2016 ballot measure. The ballot measure, if approved, would protect Richmond renters from being evicted without just cause and establish rent control.

Ms. McLaughlin explains, “The renters of Richmond deserve protection during the current housing crisis, and our coalition believes voters this November should be able to take a stand on the subject of just cause evictions and rent control.”

The proposed ballot measure would establish a rent board that would set annual limits on rent increases for the City of Richmond, as well as provide a process for tenants to appeal rent increases. Richmond renters, living in units built before 1995, would be protected from outrageous increases in rent and evictions for reasons that are without cause.

A recent poll commissioned by Fair and Affordable Richmond shows that nearly two thirds of voters would vote today to enact rent control and just cause eviction protections. Richmond voters understood that similar limits on evictions and unreasonable rent increases have helped to prevent thousands of middle-class and low-income people from losing their homes, making communities safer and more stable for everyone, and they think the City of Richmond should have such protections.

‘The Bay Area housing crisis has already begun to hurt Richmond, and it’s effects will only get worse. Richmond residents have spoken, and Fair and Affordable Richmond is working to give those residents a chance to better Richmond by voting for just cause eviction protection and rent control,” said Edith Pastrano, a Richmond renter and member of the Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition.

City Council passed rent control last year, but was forced to overturn after a successful legal challenge on behalf of the city’s landlords. Fair and Affordable Richmond believes it is time for the voters of Richmond to have their chance to vote on just cause eviction and rent control.


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