Get Informed: The Rent Control Petition

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The debate over rent control isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. 

In response to Richmond City Council passing a rent control and Just Cause Eviction ordinance in late July, a petition is currently circulating around the City to repeal the ordinance, and advocates for the ordinance are circulating their own material in opposition of the petition.

In the interest of open information, here are the materials from both camps: 

The Petition:

ORDINANCE NO. 21-15 N.S. ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RICHMOND AMENDING ARTICLE XI OF THE RICHMOND MUNICIPAL CODE TO ESTABLISH A RENT CONTROL AND JUST CAUSE REQUIREMENT FOR EVICTIONS

We, the undersigned, are duly registered and qualified voters of the City of Richmond, California. We hereby protest the adoption of Ordinance Number 21-15 N.S., in its entirety, adopted by the City Council on August 5, 2015 and request that Ordinance Number 21-15 N.S. be reconsidered and repealed by the City Council or that it be submitted to a vote of the People of the City of Richmond at the next regular election or at a special election called for that purpose pursuant to Cal. Elec. Code section 9241.

For those interested in signing the petition, canvassers are walking door to door but people can also go to:

West County Association of Realtors Office
423 46th Street, Richmond
(510) 233-1152

Canvassers can also be located in front of The Dollar Tree Store at 11555 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito (right across the street from the Del Norte BART Station.)

During peak hours canvassers can also be found at the Richmond, Del Norte and El Cerrito Plaza BART stations. 


Their Talking Points:
Rent Control in Richmond is:

Unfair:
Some renters would get rent control, but most would not. There are over 30,000 rental units in Richmond. Rent Control will benefit less than 10,000 units.

Rent Control will have an adverse impact on the remaining available market rate units by causing those rents to sky-rocket, just like in Oakland and San Francisco. Rents for the middle-class, including teachers, public safety employees, nurses and working families will no longer be affordable and they will have to leave Richmond. 

Unaffordable:
The City is already facing a financial crisis and is strapped for money to fund important projects already. Creating a new rent control bureaucracy will cost the City an additional $1.6 - $2 million to oversee. These funds should be used for police officers, job training, park improvements, recreational programs, senior programs, and street improvements.

"Just Cause" makes building new rental housing less appealing for homebuilders because of the inability for landlords to evict bad tenants. This reduces housing production which in turn creates a greater gap in housing affordability. The middle class is priced out. 

Unsafe:
Rent control and "Just Cause" will make it more difficult to evict bad tenants such as drug dealers, criminals and rowdy neighbors. Tenants will be less likely to reportbad neighbors for fear of retribution.

Rental income restrictions will steer investors away, leaving landlords with decreasing means to pay for necessary repairs, leaving units to become dilapidated.This will lead to blighted neighborhoods.

Vital safety improvements will be delayed or ignored if a landlord will have to go before-a hearing to request permission to do important maintenance and repairs. This is another bureaucratic bottleneck.

 

In Support of Rent Control:
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Don't Sign The Petition by Radio Free Richmond

Showing 2 reactions

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  • commented 2015-08-27 18:45:16 -0700
    Is there a way to get the petition on line? I would like to sign it and get a number of friends and family to do so. I am appalled at the sensationalist response of the rent control backers to this petition, but after hearing the hyperbolic and very disrespectful language used by them against providers of rental housing in our community, I guess I should not be surprised. Referendum is a right guaranteed under our state constitution, and I question why rent control backers are so afraid of putting this to the people for a vote. After all, it was very controversial and approved by the bare minimum number of votes at the city council.
  • commented 2015-08-26 17:24:41 -0700
    Be aware that the RPA flyer is deceptive and contains several factual misstatements.
    FACTS:

    1. Certification of the petition will NOT require a special election, and will NOT cost $200k.
    2. Certification of the Petition will save Richmond taxpayers over $150k due to NOT having to hold a special election to amend the charter (as contemplated by the ordinance to by-pass the Mayor’s appointment power).
    3. When it goes to the ballot, a YES vote on the referendum will approve the ordinance; a NO vote will rescind it.
    4. Many of the those decrying paid signature gatherers lying to voters, are themselves paid political employees of SEIU who don’t even live in Richmond, and are likewise being PAID to comment at council meetings and to produce and pass out flyers to deceive Richmond voters.
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