Tenant Activists Launch Rent Control Campaign in Sacramento
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Posted by: RHA Executive Director Jim Lofgren
Tenant activists announced the beginning of a campaign to implement rent control in the city of Sacramento, according to a recent article in Sacramento News & Review. The Alliance for Californians for Community Employment (ACCE) and the Democratic Socialists of America are organizing tenants and enlisting the support of other community organizations to support their effort.
They hope implement an ordinance similar to one approved by voters in the city of Richmond last November. Based on the Richmond ordinance, here is what rent control in Sacramento might require:
- Reset rent to a “base rent” based on amount charged over a year earlier. (In Richmond, the ballot measure passed in November 2016 required rent to be reset to the levels charged by owners on July 21, 2015 – 16 months earlier!)
- Restrict increases in rent to the annual percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the metropolitan region. (The current CPI for Sacramento is approximately 3%.)
- Establish a powerful five-member Rent Board appointed by the city council. (To limit the influence of the rental housing industry, no more than two members of the Rent Board can be realtors, property managers or rental owners.)
- Empower the Rent Board to charge and collect registration fees to pay for Rent Board and its employees. (Employees include an executive director, hearing examiners, housing counselors and legal staff costing several hundred thousand dollars.)
- Empower the Rent Board to collect and/or receive copies of notices of termination of tenancy and changes in terms of tenancy. (This bureaucratic requirement adds more regulation on the industry.)
- Require distribution of a brochure of legal rights to tenants at the commencement of tenancy and each notice of a rent increase.
- Establish stringent “just cause” eviction requirements. (Limits evictions to only eight specific reasons making the process more difficult and costly.)
- Require owners to make “relocation payments” to tenants for removing rental units from the market. (Payments would range from $3,400 to $16,400.)
In anticipation of the rent control threat, RHA already established a task force to address the threat of rent control and has begun fundraising to defeat any local ordinance that might be considered by the Sacramento City Council or placed on the ballot of an upcoming election.
Rent control is the wrong solution for the current rental housing problem faces the Sacramento region. For the past several years, the Sacramento region has failed to build enough apartments to support the growing demand. According to construction data compiled by Yardi Matrix, Sacramento continues to rank last among the top 25 metropolitan markets in the U.S. for new apartment construction. The real solution is for our local and state elected officials to remove the many barriers, ranging from excessive regulations to neighborhood opposition, that prevent the construction of new housing.
RHA is receiving support in opposing rent control from our statewide association, the California Apartment Association and the California Apartment Association Political Action Committee (CAAPAC). CAA continues to lead the opposition to rent control measures in cities around the state.
For more information about rent control, visit www.whatisrentcontrol.org.
To contribute to campaign to oppose rent control:
- Mail or deliver a check payable to CAAPAC to RHA, 191 Lathrop Way, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95815.
- Make an online contribution by credit card at www.CAAPAC.org. Please indicate in the "comment" section that the funds are for the RHA Rent Control Campaign.
Political contributions are not deductible for federal and state income tax purposes. CAAPAC is a California recipient committee, FPPC ID #745208.