In a previous post, I addressed an appeal that was made to Santa Rosa City Council to enact rent control and renter’s protections. According to KSRO.com, and the Press Democrat Newspaper the Santa Rosa City Council “voted 4-3 to to approve a move that will set rent control into play in Santa Rosa …with an annual cap on rent hikes for apartments built before 1995 … as well as unfair eviction protections.”
It takes courage to stand against rich investment property owners, management companies and landlords in order to enact laws that actually protect some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. The Santa Rosa City Council members who voted in favor of the measure are to be commended for being responsive to the plight of the people in their city.
In my opinion … this is a major step in the right direction in that it indicates that the (major) problem of runaway unfair rental prices, and the lack of affordable housing, is actually reaching our government leaders and they are actually starting to respond.
Rent control, however, is only a part of the solution: many more affordable units need to be built in order to better meet the housing needs of growing populations in our cities and counties (and states).
In an ideal world … there would be enough housing units available that property owners actually compete for tenants. In such a case, rental rates would become far more affordable. As it is, property owners are literally gouging renters and stoking class discrimination.
Organizations like the California Apartment Association and investment property owners (and even individual home-owner/landlords) love it when there are so many more people in need of housing than there are units available because it allows them to charge – literally – the maximum amounts that the the market (read: the wealthiest renters) can afford. Those of us who are not wealthy … are clearly not any concern of theirs.
History has shown that when the “haves” can gouge those of lesser means – they will indeed do so, usually without conscience or care for the people they hurt in the process.