CAA petition puts brakes on Richmond rent control

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Thanks to a referendum backed by the California Apartment Association and its supporters, rent control in Richmond is on hold.

Today, CAA, on behalf of thousands of local property owners and concerned citizens, submitted  7,025  signatures to Richmond’s city clerk.

The referendum asks voters to repeal a rent control and just-cause-for-eviction ordinance approved by the City Council on Aug. 5. The referendum also postpones implementation of the ordinance, which had been scheduled for Friday, Sept. 4.

The City Council can now either repeal the ordinance or send the issue to voters. If the council chooses the latter, the referendum will  appear on the next municipal election, currently scheduled for the November 2016 ballot.

Tom Bannon

Tom Bannon

“Rent control has long-lasting, negative impacts on communities,” said Tom Bannon, chief executive officer of CAA. “That’s one reason no other city in California has approved rent control in decades.

“Despite the magnitude of this decision, a bloc of the City Council fast-tracked its approval. This referendum, however, will provide more time for city officials, property owners and residents to thoroughly discuss what rent control and just cause eviction would mean for the future of Richmond.”

Bannon elaborated on this point during an interview with the Contra Costa Times on Thursday, shortly after CAA submitted the petition signatures.

“Rent control has been a failed public policy and doesn’t do what it’s intended to do,” Bannon told The Times. “No economic analysis on the impacts of rent control was ever done. This will give everybody more time to look at the short- and long-term implications.”

 

Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay, speaking with Mayor Tom Butt during a council meeting this summer, says his staff recommended an economic analysis on how rent control would affect Richmond but never got direction from the council to carry out such a study.

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