Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Say YES to Rent Control

With rents rising astronomically in the Bay Area and beyond, "rent control" is no longer a dirty word, it's a necessity. Only a handful of cities in the region have a rent control ordinance, which protects tenants from rent gouging and ensure landlords receive a fair return on their investment. While policy wonks dispute the "efficiency" of such measures, protections like this are wildly popular with residents and effective on the ground in stabilizing neighborhoods. Grassroots groups all over the Bay have been organizing recently to make their voices heard.

In Richmond, Contra Costa County, residents are being priced out. According to a recent report, 37-percent of all Richmond renters earn less than $35,000 annually and spend more than 30-percent of their income on housing, the report indicated.

Tenants at two large apartment complexes in Richmond are going on a rent strike after their landlord demanded they pay a 20% increase in rent. With support from our allies at ACCE, these tenants are putting themselves on the line to say "enough is enough. They are demanding the city pass a rent control ordinance to help other tenants in the community. You can join them in fighting back against landlord greed by sending a message to the Richmond City Council in support of Rent Control. 

Richmond tenants demand housing justice and rent control

In San Mateo County, with support from Peninsula Interfaith Action, Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, Burlingame Advocates for Renter Protections, and others, activists in Burlingame, Redwood City, and San Mateo have been on the march.

As a result of such efforts, early last month, the San Mateo County Manager urged County Supervisors to study solutions to homelessness and displacement: a living wage ordinance, and a rent stabilization ordinance. Rising rents in the area are driving out working families, who increasingly have to commute long distances to their jobs in Silicon Valley.

Tenants in Burlingame protest rent increases
Tenants in Redwood City march to demand Rent Control
Tenants and allies in San Mateo hold a vigil for renters who need rent stabilization

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