Santa Rosa council votes to extend rent moratorium ordinance


A special Santa Rosa City Council meeting was held on July 7 to consider an extension of the current rent moratorium ordinance, which went into effect on June 23. (Please note: The moratorium was scheduled to go into effect June 16, but was pushed back due to a delay in publication by the city). The moratorium was set to expire Aug. 6 unless extended.

At the July 7 meeting, council voted 5-2 to pass an “urgency” ordinance to extend the current rent moratorium for 90 days. The rent moratorium will now be in place until Oct. 4, 2016. A permanent rent control and just cause for eviction ordinance will be drafted in August, and if passed by four members of council, will likely go into effect prior to Oct. 4, 2016.

CAA North Coast opposed the extension, opposes any form of rent control and just cause for eviction policies and is working with local housing providers, business organizations and various stakeholders to defeat the proposed rent control law in Santa Rosa. Want to get involved? Join our coalition, Santa Rosans for Real Housing Solutions, or contact Mallori Spilker for more information.

Mayor Sawyer and Councilmembers Combs, Carlstrom, Coursey and Wysocky voted in favor of the urgency measure. If the “urgency” rent moratorium extension did not garner the 5-7 vote needed to pass, an alternative “non-urgency” rent moratorium ordinance would have been passed to extend the moratorium from Aug. 11 – Oct. 24, 2016, leaving a five-day lapse between moratorium ordinances. The council stated the lapse in the rent moratorium from Aug. 6 – Aug. 11 would have caused unnecessary confusion and anxiety for housing providers and residents, therefore the urgency measure was passed to avoid these issues.

The rent moratorium ordinance, which caps rent increases at 3 percent, applies to multifamily units built before Feb. 1, 1995, in Santa Rosa. Single-family homes and condominiums are exempt, as are owner-occupied triplexes, and all duplexes.

The moratorium’s 3 percent rent increase cap applies cumulatively over a 12-month period. During the moratorium, a rental owner who’s already increased rent by 3 percent or more during the prior year won’t be able to raise it again. This also applies to property owners who’ve provided notice that a rent increase would take effect during the moratorium.

To view the extended rent moratorium ordinance, click here.

You can view updated frequently asked questions and answers produced by the city of Santa Rosa on rent control, just cause eviction, and the rent moratorium here.

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