Should Rent Control be Adopted in San Jose?
As Bay Area housing prices and rents continue to soar, many of the region’s cities are experimenting with new policies aimed at curbing the high cost of living. One such policy is rent control, that is artificially controlling the market price of certain rental units so that their landlords are limited by what they can charge. San Francisco and Berkeley are two prominent cities that both have rent control regulations, but they only apply to a handful of units, and they haven’t kept pace with the recent housing surge. Now a San Jose City Council Member is proposing new program that would place an annual cap on how much rent could be increased for units built up until 1995.
Council Member Raul Peralez proposes to amend San Jose’s existing rent control program to include thousands of more units, and lower the annual rent increase cap. Under the current regulations all units built before 1979 are subject to a yearly rent increase cap of 8 percent. Peralez’s proposal would lower the cap to just 4 percent, so that annual rent increases could never exceed this limit, and it would apply to all units built before 1995.
San Jose’s Mayor Sam Liccardo has yet to take an official stand on Peralez’s plan, but has instead issued a statement of caution concerning the general topic of rent control. The follow quote was taken from an interview he gave with the Silicon Valley Business Journal:
“No one can dispute that we’re in a crisis of affordability in our housing market,” Liccardo said. “The question is whether City Hall does something to really address the issue or to make it worse. There’s ample evidence of City Halls throughout the Bay Area making it worse.”
Instead, Liccardo wants to study alternative methods of preventing price gouging. He also wants to explore a new series of policies aimed at incentivizing the development of more market rate housing.
Should San Jose amend its rental control program to only allow for a 4 percent rent increase for all units built below 1995? Are there other alternative programs that should be explored first? Vote and comment below.
|San Jose Rent Control: Limit to 4 Percent Annual Increase
This initiative would expand San Jose’s rent control program to apply to all rental units built before 1995. These units would only be allowed to increase their rents by 4 percent per year, so as to slow price escalation.