CAA defeats Santa Rosa rent control

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After a strong grassroots campaign by the California Apartment Association and its allies, Santa Rosa’s rent control and just-cause eviction measure went down in defeat Tuesday.

The people of Santa Rosa rejected Measure C with 52.5 percent of the vote, compared with 47.5 percent in favor of rent control.

“Voters understood that Measure C would have come at high costs while assisting only a fraction of the population,” said Joshua Howard, CAA’s senior vice president for Northern California. “Now, Santa Rosa can focus on the real solution to its housing crisis — building more homes.”

Measure C threatened to roll back rents on affected apartments to Jan. 1, 2016, levels and cap rent increases at 3 percent per year.  It would have cost an estimated $1.25 million annually to administer.

Events leading to Tuesday’s special election began in summer 2016, when the Santa Rosa City Council approved a rent control and just-cause ordinance over CAA’s strong objections.

CAA responded with a signature-gathering effort to place the ordinance before Santa Rosa voters. After the referendum qualified, the City Council in January called for the special election.

In the intervening months, CAA spearheaded a grassroots campaign that knocked on over 18,000 doors, sent 19 mailers, engaged voters on social media, helped secure a No on Measure C editorial in the newspaper, and enjoyed strong support from community coalitions, as well as several current and former mayors and council members.

CAA will remain vigilant in its opposition to rent control while advocating for policies that address the root cause of California’s housing crisis – a lack of homes for the state’s growing population.

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