By Lynda Carson
“Fair and Affordable Richmond” on Saturday kicked off a signature gathering campaign to place a Rent Control and Just Cause Eviction Protection ballot measure http://tinyurl.com/h7o2lxe on the November ballot.
The Coalition has until June to gather 4,198 signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.
”Rent increases have reached a crisis level and we are doing something about it in Richmond,” said Richmond Councilwoman Gayle Mclaughlin.
“We welcome volunteers to join us gathering signatures for a ballot measure in November to stabilize rents and stop the displacement that occurs from skyrocketing rents,” she said.
The average monthly rent in Richmond is $1,172, and the rents just keep getting higher, and higher.
“A recent poll commissioned by Fair and Affordable Richmond shows that nearly two-thirds of voters would vote today to enact rent control and just cause eviction protections,” according to the coalition. “Richmond voters understood that similar limits on evictions and unreasonable rent increases have helped to prevent thousands of middle-class and low-income people from losing their homes, making communities safer and more stable for everyone, and they think the City of Richmond should have such protections.”
Dan Harper, Organizing Director for Tenants Together said, “We have reached a very exciting time in the fight for rent control in Richmond. To get rent control on the ballot we will need to collect thousands of signatures, and we will need your help. “
According to a release from the Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition, “The proposed ballot measure would establish a rent board that would set annual limits on rent increases for the City of Richmond, as well as provide a process for tenants to appeal rent increases
“Richmond renters, living in units built before 1995, would be protected from outrageous increases in rent and evictions for reasons that are without cause. Additionally, the ordinance would cap rent increases at 1 percent to 3 percent a year, in addition to relocation compensation for renters that have been evicted unjustly.”
The Fair and Affordable Richmond Coalition is made up of local elected officials, renters, homeowners, local community activists and labor.
The coalition includes Tenants Together, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Richmond Progressive Alliance, SEIU 1021, AFSCME Local 3299, California Nurses Association, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Building Blocks for Kids Richmond Collaborative, Centro Latino Cuscatlaán, Eviction Defense Center, Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council and Urban Habitat.
Lynda Carson may be reached at [email protected]