Alameda group seeks to place rent control measure on November ballot

Alameda renters protesting rising rents at a
rally in front of City Hall last year.

ALAMEDA | A day before the Alameda City Council is set to finalize approval for a modest set of new protections for struggling renters, a local grassroots organization will present a ballot measure Monday asking voters for stronger controls on rising rents.

“We are filing this initiative so the people of Alameda can do what its City Council has been unable to do: enact a firm set of laws to stabilize our community and protect renters from greedy investors,” said Catherine Pauling, spokesperson for the Alameda Renters Coalitions.

The group will hold a press conference to discuss the measure Monday afternoon in front of City Hall at 3:30 p.m. The measure likely includes tying annual rent increases to the Consumer Price Index.

If supports can gather nearly 4,000 signatures over the next few months, the measure will be placed on the November ballot, proponents said.

Renters came away disappointed following the City Council’s initial passage of a rent ordinance Feb. 16 that requires landlords to submit rent increases over five percent to the city’s rent review process and compensation for moving costs upon eviction.

The ordinance, which will have a second and final reading Tuesday night, though, contains no cap on rent increases or restrictions on no cause evictions, two issues routinely raised by the renters group.

If the rent control measure is successful in getting on the November ballot, it will join nearby Richmond, which, like Alameda, will likely face a highly contentious campaign for rent control in that East Bay city.

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