CAA seeks help to thwart looming Santa Rosa rent control measure

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The California Apartment Association is turning to its members for help thwarting what could become Santa Rosa’s second rent control measure in 17 months.

Less than one year after voters rejected rent control in Santa Rosa, the North Bay Organizing Project and a group of local activists are collecting signatures in hopes of placing an even more burdensome rent control “just cause” eviction ordinance on the November 2018 ballot.

The group has until late June to collect over 8,500 signatures to get their proposed law on the November ballot.

“We are dismayed that the North Bay Organizing Project is rushing to put a costly, burdensome rent control law on the ballot less than a year after voters rejected a similar measure, and during a time when we all need to be working together to rebuild our community,” said Joshua Howard, senior vice president of CAA in Northern California.

This new attempt, like Measure C last year, does nothing to provide housing, reduce homelessness or provide relief to low-income renters. It will cost renters, homeowners and taxpayers millions of dollars annually to hire city staff to enforce the measure. Moreover, it will make it more difficult to evict problem tenants and create a new city bureaucracy to regulate housing providers.

“What’s even more worrisome, this new proposal would allow the city to potentially include single family homes in any regulations they might impose,” Howard said.

If the North Bay Organizing Project’s measure makes the ballot and ultimately passes, it will:

  • Limit rent increases to the annual inflation rate.
  • Impose strict eviction for cause rules for most rental units.
  • Require written warnings be served before initiating eviction, even after criminal activity.
  • Subject renters to potentially testifying against neighbors accused of criminal activity as part of eviction proceedings.
  • Force payment of six months’ or more of comparable market rate rent to terminate a tenancy.
  • Create a permanent government bureaucracy with the power to set rents, levy fees, and pay itself a salary.
  • Cost Santa Rosa millions annually to implement and enforce.

“Following the devastating wildfires last fall, our housing crisis has only gotten worse,” Howard said. “We agree it’s time to solve Santa Rosa’s housing shortage. The most effective way to solve our housing shortage is by working together to get more apartments, condominiums, and homes built.

“This Rent Control measure is the least effective way to ease the cost of housing, particularly for our lower and middle-income households. There are no assurances that rent control helps the lowest-income renters and those who need rental housing the most.”

PAID FOR BY REAL HOUSING SOLUTIONS FOR SANTA ROSA, SPONSORED BY CALIFORNIA APARTMENT ASSOCIATION

Tagged: North BayTri-CountyMarin Income Property AssociationContra Costa

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