Sacramento City Council Votes to Pass Rent Control Measure

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento City Council voted Tuesday to pass a proposal that could have a big impact on renters and landlords.

The City Council is calling it the Tenant Protection and Relief Act but activists and policy experts are calling it rent control.

“We need this rent control not only for state workers but for California for all,” said Service Employees International Union Local 1000 organizer Michelle Burgess

The act, supported by Mayor Darrell Steinberg, makes it so owners of apartments and duplexes built before February of 1995 may only increase rent each year by no more than 6% plus inflation.

“It is a really incomplete strategy,” said Khaim Morton, vice president of public policy and economic development for the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Opponents, including the California Apartment Association and the Sacramento Metro Chamber, say the act will scare away investors and developers.

“You are limiting an already limited supply when the real issue, the real thing you need to focus on, is building more units,” Morton told FOX40.

Supporters, including SEIU and the Alliance of the Californians for Community Empowerment, believe the move will stop rent gouging by who they’re calling “greedy landlords.”

Before the vote even took place, hundreds of activists came into City Hall to show their support for the new act. The demonstrations were all part of a march by SEIU from the state Capitol.

“We have too many state workers that live multiple families in one home just to survive,” Burgess said.

Burgess works for the Department of Motor Vehicles and said the city’s act will greatly improve the lives of renters.

“It’ll stop people from sleeping in their cars. It’ll stop kids from not being able to go to school because they don’t have anywhere to live. It’ll stop depression. It'll stop a lot of things but it has to stop with the rent gouging where people cannot afford to live in their homes and they’re pushed out in the street,” she said.

The act comes after a year of negotiations between the city, labor unions and nonprofit advocacy groups.

Although some rent advocates are calling this a victory, some say it doesn’t go far enough, as the act will only be in effect for the next five years.

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