In the middle of a housing crisis, the Sacramento City Council is considering implementing rent control.
Many people could be seen coming in and out of Sacramento’s City Hall building late Tuesday evening as the council held a five hour long discussion weighing the pros and cons of applying rent control within the city limits. Local tenants who are in support, say they are suffering and need help stabilizing their rent or they could face eviction or even homelessness. Despite this, people viewing the idea from a business perspective believe rent control will be disastrous for the city and only dissuade developers from continuing to create more housing.
During the long meeting, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) said “I oppose long term rent control, but given this state of emergency those who say no under any circumstance even for a temporary period, can you prove this great harm that would befall our city?”
If approved by the city, the Mayor’s proposed three-year rent control policy would cap rent increases at 5% per year. This plan wouldn’t go into effect until after the November ballot to see what happens with the state-wide proposal.
On top of the California homelessness crisis according to Sacramento’s bizjournals, “The workshop was intended to promote discussion rather than craft policy, with potential ordinances not likely to come forward for weeks or even months. But there were notable numbers: an eviction rate in 2016 that was 2.5 times the national rate, and more than 26,000 Sacramento renters paying 50 percent or more of their income for rent.” Many people believe this is what has been pushing Steinberg to pass this plan as he fears without rent control the homelessness crisis will only get worse.
Steinberg said he believes there is a way to create a proposal that addresses both sides of the issue. However, the final plan may not arrive as soon as some might like. There will be several more public hearings scheduled soon before any decision will be made.