Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2017  
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  Richmond Now Ground Zero in Constitutional Battle Over Rent Control
January 6, 2017

Click here for the Complaint filed against the City of Richmond yesterday challenging Measure L on federal and state constitutional and state preemption bases. Whether or not the California Apartment Association (CAA) prevails in today's hearing on the injunction, you can see the game plan.

The CAA will fight this all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court where there will be a Trump-appointed conservative majority by the time the litigation gets there. Meanwhile, Richmond is the beachhead, and the City will be obligated to spend millions of dollars defending Measure L at every level. This will be money that could be better spent on public safety, parks, housing and other critical issues.

As I have acknowledged many times, I agree there is a tremendous challenge in providing housing to people, including homeless people, at every income level at a reasonable cost. However, I do not think this burden should be unfairly and solely allocated to those who happen to have chosen to make a living through the ownership of rental property. This is a societal problem, the cost of which everyone should bear.

Nor does rent control have any history of success, as we have seen from Oakland, San Francisco and Berkeley, which have had rent control for decades and now have rents that are not only substantially higher than Richmond, but are among the highest in the United States.