Real estate industry spends big to defeat Bay Area rent control measures

Richmond community members gathered at Civic Center Plaza for a press conference in September to show their support for an ordinance that would have implemented a 45-day ban on certain evictions and high rent increases. Photo by Abner Hauge.

Richmond community members gathered at Civic Center Plaza for a press conference in September to show their support for an ordinance that would have implemented a 45-day ban on certain evictions and high rent increases. Photo by Abner Hauge.

Richmond has emerged as a key battleground for those on both sides of the rent control debate, as the fate of the city’s Measure L—and other Bay Area ballot measures like it—could set the tone for future legislation in cities across the state.

So far, the real estate industry has spent about $188,000 in opposition to Richmond’s Measure L—over triple the amount spent in support of the measure.

“We work vigorously to stop it wherever it’s proposed,” said Mike Nemeth, a spokesperson for the California Apartment Association (CAA), a housing industry trade group that has spent more than a million dollars fighting the Bay Area’s six rent control initiatives this election season. “Our spending reflects the level of our concern.”

Rent control advocates in Richmond say going head-to-head with CAA and its nationally-funded committee in such a high-stakes race has been an uphill battle.

“Rent control is popular,” said Dan Harper, organizing director of the state-wide renters’ rights group Tenants Together. “I think that’s why they’re spending so much money.”

Read the rest of the story by Catherine Schuknecht and Reis Theibault at the East Bay Times.

One Comment

  1. MICHELLE JEFFERSON

    We are glad Measure L passed. But now may landlord is changing the time when I can pay my rent. Before this passed we had until the 5th to pay rent now he wants it on the 3rd of the month. Since he can not charge me $320.00 for this coming year he wants to charge me a late fee for not having it by the 3rd. Which is in my lease to pay by the 5th. He has to pay for his Tessla car some how not that he can only charge me $36.00 not $320.00.
    What a rip off.

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