Rent control proponents miss deadline for November ballot measure in city of Sacramento
Time has run out for signature gatherers to qualify a rent control initiative for the November 2018 ballot in the city of Sacramento.
However, the Housing 4 Sacramento coalition, which includes the Alliance for Californians for Community Engagement and Service Employees International Union, continues to collect signatures with hopes of meeting the Sept. 4 deadline to qualify the charter amendment for the next general election, which comes in 2020.
“We suspect they just were unable to collect the required number of signatures by the deadline,” said CAA Senior Vice President Jim Lofgren. “Now let’s hope we can shift our focus towards better solutions for our housing problem, namely building more housing for our low-income, disabled and senior renters.”
Meanwhile, the rent control battle has shifted to City Hall. Although Mayor Darrell Steinberg opposes the proposed rent control ballot measure, he wants the City Council to pass an ordinance that includes some form of rent cap and other tenant protections.
Over the past several weeks, the mayor has met with several business groups, including the California Apartment Association, to solicit input on ways to boost housing production and provide immediate relief to tenants from rising rents. He has met stiff resistance to his suggestion of a 5 percent rent cap, even if only temporary.
“We applaud the mayor for seeking solutions to increase the supply of housing,” Lofgren said. “But any cap on rent is counterproductive. That’s not the way to attract investors we so desperately need. They simply will build somewhere else, which is in fact what is happening.”
According to recent Yardi-Matrix market data reports, the Sacramento region continues to rank last in new apartment construction among the largest metropolitan markets in the nation.
CAA is working with its Citizens for Affordable Housing coalition members, including the Sacramento Association of Realtors and other organizations, to craft its own recommendations for solving the housing shortage, including several reasonable tenant protections. CAA members are encouraged to support the campaign by visiting www.CitizensForAffordableHousing.org.