Coalition formed to campaign for rent control in city of Sacramento

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The California Apartment Association is closely monitoring a newly formed coalition that’s working to bring rent control to the city of Sacramento.

The coalition, Housing4Sacramento, includes groups that champion tenant rights, organized labor, socialism and subsidized housing.

Coalition members have appeared with tenant supporters before the Sacramento City Council, demanding passage of rent control and just cause eviction ordinances. They also hold regular organizing meetings, canvass for support at apartment communities, organize protests and marches, and spread their campaign message via social media, such as Facebook.

So far, CAA has prevented passage of a local rent control ordinance by the Sacramento City Council. Elected officials seem to understand the connection between supply and demand, and that the current housing shortage has driven up rents.

According to Yardi Matrix, a data source that tracks the top 30 multifamily housing markets, Sacramento ranks last in the nation for apartment construction. Not surprising, the same source found Sacramento also led the nation with 8 percent rent growth during 2017.

“While the obvious solution to our affordable housing problem is to build more housing, I am concerned about the popularity of rent control,” said Jim Lofgren, CAA senior vice president for the CAA Sacramento Valley division. “Everyone who understands housing finance knows that rent control will scare away new investment and undermine efforts to solve the problem.”

While Mayor Darrell Steinberg and members of the City Council recognize the need to build more housing, the Housing4Sacramento coalition hopes they may buckle under growing political pressure and adopt some form of rent control. If not, the coalition may attempt to qualify a local ballot measure for the November 2018 election.

For more information about rent control, see www.whatisrentcontrol.org.

Tagged: Sacramento Valley

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