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Northern California Tests First Rent-Control Law in 30+ Years

Digested from “Rent control poised for comeback in tech-booming Northern California”
Aljazeera America (10/20/15) Meronek, Toshio

Rent control legislation was approved in August, then suspended via a petition last month, in Richmond, Calif., in a battle to create more affordable housing. A popular vote will be held on the legislation next year. This is the first attempt in more than 30 years to enact rent control in the state.

As a result of the region's growing tech industry, local rents have been skyrocketing. That may work for tech company employees making six figures, but it doesn't work for working- and middle-class families, who often have to relocate and spend hours commuting as a result. Local laws also have been an issue: Loopholes, such as those allowing owners to evict tenants without cause if the owner plans to live there or raising rents as much as 21 percent if there has been no increase in two years, have worked against residents who need affordable housing.

Owners have been vocal about their opposition to rent control and have requested government incentives as a solution to the area's affordable-housing crisis.

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