A delegation of CAA Sacramento Valley leaders met with Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg last week to begin a dialogue on solutions to the city’s affordable housing shortage — and to reiterate that rent control isn’t one of them.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg

Earlier in the week, the mayor had announced his opposition to a proposed initiative that would establish rent control, “just cause” tenancy-termination restrictions, an elected rent board, and a new annual fee on rental properties in the city.

Hoping to discourage rent control proponents from proceeding with the initiative, dubbed the “Sacramento Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Charter Amendment,” Steinberg intends to draft an alternative ordinance for passage by the Sacramento City Council. The mayor said he expects to unveil his proposal later this summer, following meetings with labor, business and other stakeholder groups.

Rent control proponents, including the Service Employee International Union and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, must submit the required number of valid signatures by June 20 to qualify the initiative for the November 2018 election. Otherwise, they’ll have until early September to submit the required signatures to place the initiative on the next regular election in 2020.

During last week’s meeting with the mayor, CAA Sacramento Valley board chairman Herb Cross of Lyon Real Estate thanked Steinberg for his public statement opposing the rent control ballot measure. Cross also said that CAA is eager to work with the mayor on alternatives to rent control that would stimulate housing construction in the city.

While new developments are in the works, Sacramento continues to rank last among all major metropolitan markets in the nation for new multifamily construction, according the Yardi-Matrix, a respected source of industry data.

Cross also reaffirmed CAA’s opposition to rent control and just cause tenancy-termination restrictions. The mayor acknowledged that a recent CAA call to action generated hundreds of phone calls and emails to his office expressing opposition to rent control, however, he would not rule out including what he referred to as an “anti-rent gouging” cap in his forthcoming ordinance.