Can Sacramento Do Anything About Rising Rents?

Sacramento tenants have suffered one of the highest rent increases in the country during the past year. Rents in Sacramento have increased nearly 10 percent in 2017, making it the highest rental market of any city in the entire nation.

Renters have had enough. Housing advocate group Organize Sacramento intends to collect signatures to have a measure added to the November ballot that would encapsulate the tempest that has become Sacramento’s housing market.

“How many years can we have nearly 10 percent average rent increases?” said Michelle Pariset, one of the ballot’s authors and a board member with Organize Sacramento told the Sacramento Bee. “Who making minimum wage can deal with 10 percent year-over-year rent increases?”

The measure named the Sacramento Renter Protection and Community Stabilization Charter Amendment, would cap annual rent increases on older buildings at 5 percent, implement “just cause” protections for tenants, and require financial relocation assistance for renters that are forced to move out.

This measure could be very helpful to elevate Sacramento’s growing homeless population, as many of renters, particularly those who are low income, suffered greatly from the rent increase.

However, a lot of landlords feel as if the measure will do more harm than good.

“Rent control is the wrong solution to our shortage of affordable housing in the region,” senior vice president of the California Apartment Association, Jim Lofgren, expressed on the CAA website. Lofgren believes that the measure will only discourage investors and developing companies from building in Sacramento. “We’re sympathetic to the plight of renters, we recognize there is a problem, but this is the wrong solution. We need to attract more investment in housing, and rent control only scares it away. It’s counterproductive.”

Many other California cities have already adopted rent control measures like Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. Organize Sacramento has until May to collect nearly 40,000 signatures to put its proposition on the November ballot.