Santa Cruz Together Fights Rent Control

sebfreyCommentary, Santa Cruz Real Estate

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Rent Control Means Fewer Rentals

Are you concerned about the movement to bring rent control to the city of Santa Cruz?  The folks working to establish rent control in the city have met the required number of signatures to put the measure on the ballot this coming November, so the rent control question will soon be put to the vote.  While there are many advocates for rent control, the opposite is true as well.  A local group, Santa Cruz Together, is a leading grass-roots effort against what they see as a misguided effort to improve housing affordability which will ultimately result in lower affordability, higher rent, and lower quality housing for all.

Santa Cruz Together is a group comprised of over 600 local small property owners (many of them landlords) and “banana slugs.”  Many of these landlords oppose rent control not because it won’t allow them to raise rent, but rather, because they fear it will mean they’ll have to exit the rental business entirely because they won’t want the hassles of dealing with increased bureaucracy, tenant laws, and “just cause evictions” which make it very problematic to stop renting to tenants, even after a lease as expired.  Many landlords say they’ll simply remove their rental properties from the market, which will decrease the rental pool and ultimately work to raise rental prices.

Their web site provides a wealth of information on the topic of rent control, and shares some sobering statistics, such as:

  • In rent controlled Santa Monica, 25% of rental units were withdrawn
  • In rent controlled San Francisco 30% of rent controlled renters lost their rentals to gentrification
  • In Berkeley, with rent control, median rental prices increased from $350 in 1990, to $1150 median rent. Prices tripled even with rent control
  • The new City of Mountain View rent control board is requesting a $2.4 million annual budget and that $1.2 million of that come from the City budget with the rest from rents
  • >93% of economists say Rent Control does not work

Folks who are concerned with the prospect of rent control are invited to join with and/or donate to Santa Cruz Together on their web site.

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