Local measures pass: rent control approved in Richmond, utilities tax continues on Hercules
on November 9, 2022
Richmond voters approved Measure P Tuesday, voting to tighten rent control for tenants.
Under the measure, tenants living in controlled units will experience no more than a 3% increase in their rent and landlords will not be able to raise rents to 100% of inflation, which is the percentage increase in the consumer price index — currently, 5.2%.
The measure won with 56% of the vote. Another measure in Contra Costa County — Measure N, in Hercules, also won by a wide margin.
The high inflation rate has spurred a call for more protection for tenants so they will not bear high rent increases along with the rising costs of goods and services. Measure P prevents landlords from raising rent to more than 60% of inflation. With the median rent in Richmond at about $2,000 per month and nearly half of the city’s households being renters, the measure could have a significant impact on the city’s housing market.
The measure will supersede state law that says rents can’t go up more than 10%, or no more than 5% plus the inflation rate, whichever is lower.
Measure N in Hercules passed with 70% of the vote, reaffirming an 8% utilities tax for essential city services. The tax generates revenue of roughly $3.6 million per year and has ensured financial stability. It was due to expire in 2025, but under Measure N, can continue indefinitely.
Measure N allows for continued funding for neighborhood police patrols, water quality, community services, parks and recreation, and for attracting local businesses. In addition, the city will make investments into the desires and needs of its residents, as determined through a survey earlier this year.
City Council sees the revenue created by Measure N as a key to long-term financial sustainability. Hercules is also in need of vital infrastructure maintenance and improvements, which can be financed through the tax as well.
This story was updated to correct information about the state law.
Richmond Confidential welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Richmond Confidential assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.
Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.
Please send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technical correction – state law limits rent increases to the lower of 10% or the inflation rate PLUS 5%, not 5% OF the inflation rate as stated in the article.
Thank you, Jeff. I will make that correction.
Hi Christine, If I got a rent increase notice at the 5.2% rate in October for rent beginning in November and have paid that, is that excess rate to be returned by my landlord?
Dear Anita, the last line of the measure says: In the event a landlord issued a rent increase on or after September 1, 2022
in excess of 3%, that tenant’s rent shall be adjusted to their Maximum allowable rent on
August 31, 2022, plus three (3%) percent.