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Santa Barbara City Council Says ‘No’ Rent Control, But Is Open to Other Options

Rent Control

After five-plus hours of testimony before the city council on March 21, Santa Barbara property owners successfully removed rent control from consideration and created a task force to consider remaining regulations.

As communities struggle to maintain affordable housing, they are increasingly being force to consider regulations to mandate access to affordable housing – many of which involve some form of rent regulation. NAA affiliated associations nationwide find themselves in situations where they must re-educate policymakers of the unintended consequences of these regulations’ impact to creating and maintaining affordable housing within a community.

To educate the community, the Santa Barbara Rental Property Association (SBRPA) conducted two meetings:

Property Owners – Prior to the city council meeting, SBRPA hosted a town hall to alert apartment rental properties in Santa Barbara about the details of the pending legislation and how the industry’s support was needed to educate the community.

City Council – SBRPA reached out to each member of the city council to discuss the impact of its proposed expansion of burdensome regulations to not only the rental housing industry, but to current and future residents.

The association’s outreach and education efforts were successful in removing the most harmful proposal in rent control. The remaining issues of landlord-resident mediation, mandatory rental housing inspections, required one-year lease terms, and cause evictions will be considered by a yet-to-be-formed task force composed of property owners and residents.

“While we are at the start of the process, I look forward to working with the community to create policies that encourage the development of the diverse housing stock that Santa Barbara needs to support its residents,” said SBRPA Executive Director Laura Bode. “Additionally, I am excited to continue our work with the National Apartment Association as a partner and resource to address the challenges before us,” she added.

If you are aware of a state bill or local proposal addressing rent control, please contact Robert Melvin, Manager of NAA Government Affairs.