The Concord City Council has postponed its decision on a proposed rent control and “just cause” eviction ordinance to Jan. 9, citing the need for further review of public feedback and amendments requested by tenant activists.

Hours before the council was scheduled to vote on the ordinance Tuesday, tenant activists held a protest and insisted that the council reject the current draft and weave in more outlandish, anti-housing provider amendments.

The California Apartment Association opposes the ordinance altogether, even without the proposed amendments, arguing that the ordinance is unnecessary and would impose punitive regulations on housing providers.

Key problems with the ordinance highlighted by CAA include a significant rent cap, defined as the lower of 60% of the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 3%, a mandate to revert rents to January 2023 levels; and an increase in relocation payments for no-fault terminations, capped at the greater of three months’ HUD Fair Market Rent or $8,500. Additionally, the draft proposes a new rent registry fee of up to $52 per unit.

Unsatisfied with what would already be one of California’s stricter rent control ordinances, tenant activists are pushing an additional $3,000 in moving expenses, a revised standard for a landlord’s fair rate of return, and a mandate that housing providers allow unrestricted subletting.

CAA urges city administrators to refrain from rushing to incorporate these changes into the draft ordinance, emphasizing the need for thorough public vetting.

Notably, the Jan. 9 City Council meeting will exclude public comments, following the closure of public input after three hours of in-person feedback at Tuesday’s hearing.

Testimonies from CAA and rental housing providers at this week’s hearing focused on the negative impacts the ordinance would have on maintaining a sustainable rental housing market in Concord.

Rhovy Lyn Antonio, CAA’s senior vice president of local public affairs, emphasized the importance of continued advocacy.

“Thank you to those who attended the meeting and spoke,” Antonio said. “We ask that you continue your direct outreach with the City Council to underscore that this ordinance is misguided and should not be adopted.”