Following mandates under the state election code, city councils for San Mateo and Burlingame on Monday voted to place rent control on their respective ballots in the November election.

As reported last month at, election officials had confirmed that rent control advocates in San Mateo collected the 7,119 signatures required to place the initiative before voters. As required by state law, the City Council voted to place the issue on the Nov. 8 ballot.

If passed by voters, the charter amendment would implement San Francisco-style rent control in the city and create a rent board with no accountability to the city or its residents. Read documents related to the San Mateo initiative here.

The California Apartment Association maintains that rent control is a failed policy that would not help address the housing-affordability crisis, which resulted from the area’s jobs-to-housing imbalance.

The pursuit of rent control in San Mateo came despite CAA’s work with the city to find sensible alternatives. CAA served on the city’s affordable housing task force to develop true solutions to the region’s housing problems. Options identified include producing more housing inventory of all types, partnering with property owners on incentive-based programs and advocating for broad-based funding mechanisms to produce affordable housing units.

CAA’s work on the task force, as well as the ideas presented, are outlined in this op-ed published by the San Mateo Daily Journal. The piece calls for the city to explore recommendations vetted by the task force, a diverse group of concerned community and industry leaders.

As in San Mateo, the city council in Burlingame voted to place rent control before voters in November. This decision comes despite objections from CAA’s legal counsel outlined in this letter. CAA’s attorney urged the city clerk to reject the initiative based on its failure to meet the full-text requirement outlined in the state’s election code.

The city clerk, however, forwarded the petition to election officials, who certified that the 2,332 signatures theshold had been met. CAA maintains its position that the intiative is invalid and remains engaged with legal counsel on the issue.

Despite its vote to place the measure on the ballot, the City Council on Monday unanimously spoke against the merits of the initiative, calling it bad legislation and agreeing to submit arguments against it.

Click here to read the documents related to the Burlingame initiative, which closely mirrors San Mateo’s and Mountain View’s initiatives.

CAA is fully committed to fighting rent control — whether at city hall, in court or at the ballot box. Members interested in contributing to the CAA Issues PAC can click here.

Political contributions are not deductible for federal and state income tax purposes. CAA Issues Committee is a California recipient committee, FPPC ID # 1379156.