An initiative that would bring rent control to the city of Santa Cruz has qualified for November’s ballot.

Santa Cruz County election officials confirmed Thursday that the Movement for Housing Justice had filed the necessary 5,661 valid voter signatures to place the measure before voters.

The California Apartment Association is fully engaged in a campaign to defeat the measure, which would go further than existing rent control ordinances in Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland. In the event that Costa-Hawkins is repealed, the measure is likely to apply rent control to single-family homes.

The initiative threatens to:

  • Limit rent increases to the annual inflation rate
  • Impose strict “just cause” eviction 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 Cruz millions annually to implement and enforce.

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