Sacramento residents call for rent control due to many evictions

A housing crisis in Sacramento continues to persist as many residents of the county struggle to pay for rent. According to Yardi Matrix, a commercial real estate research and data platform, Sacramento had the highest year-over-year rent increases in the state, an average of 9.9%, from June 2016 to June 2017. As a result, many residents were evicted from their homes and some have even become homeless. The eviction rate in Sacramento is 2.16% per 100 renter homes with a total of 2,044 evictions and the poverty rate in Sacramento is 17.43%, according to Eviction Lab.

However, there’s a movement in California that’s seeking rent control. Many people believe rent control is the solution to Sacramento’s current housing crisis and activists are pushing for this measure to be on the California ballot. This ballot proposition seeks to repeal a 1995 state law called the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and, if repealed, it will allow cities and counties to make stronger rent control policies.

Proponents of this initiative have said that they’ve collected more than 588,000 signatures from registered voters for this ballot and they only needed 365,880 signatures by June to qualify.

“With the increased number of corporate landlords, we’re seeing a lot of rent gouging take place,” said campaign spokesman Damien Goodmon. “We’ve been able to put together a very formidable and growing progressive coalition that we think will make this a simple choice to anyone who is looking to the direction that progressives would like to go.”

However, opponents of this ballot measure argued that the bill would stymie construction of new housing across the state and cause an “affordable housing freeze”.

“This ballot measure will pour gasoline on the fire of California’s affordable housing crisis,” said California Apartment Association CEO Tom Bannon. “It will do exactly the opposite of what it promises. Instead of helping Californians, it will result in an affordable housing freeze and higher costs.”