San Jose approves stricter rent control


San Jose’s long-standing cap on rent increases will soon get tighter.

On a 6-5 vote, the San Jose City Council early Wednesday approved lowering the maximum annual increase on rent-controlled units from 8 percent to 5 percent. This will affect about 43,000 units, or one-third of the city’s rental housing supply. The changes are expected to be ratified later this year and take effect no later than Jan. 1, 2017.

While not as onerous as the housing department’s proposal to tie rent control to inflation, lowering the price ceiling to 5 percent remains a bad policy change.

“The council found a compromise among themselves, but turned their back on solving the housing crisis,” Joshua Howard, senior vice president of local public affairs for the California Apartment Association, told the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

CAA has argued that increasing the housing supply — not changing the city’s 40-year-old rent control ordinance — is key to addressing the city’s housing crisis.

Despite Wednesday morning’s vote, however, hope remains that the city will take action to bolster development.

Councilman Manh Nguyen on Tuesday morning suggested passing a $1 billion bond to build affordable housing, a proposal the council will likely discuss at a future meeting. Council members did not take up the idea Tuesday because it’s not directly linked to rent control.


Related content: 

Tagged: Tri-County

  • Mike –
    I own a 13 unit building in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County) and watching other rent control efforts closely as SRCC is gearing up to move forward with rent control. Some of the Santa Rosa Council Members are also pushing the so-called “just cause evictions” provision. Just curious if SJCC discussed it as well. Did they plan to vote on it or was it not part of the agenda? Or is it a dead issue?
    Further insight would be great.

  • Thanks for your comment, Mark. Here’s a response from our Tri-County office: San Jose did discuss just cause but the city housing department is not recommending the city council move forward with it. Instead the city council is in discussions to develop a law that would ensure tenants do feel safe to address code enforcement issues without fear of retaliation.