Yet another Bay Area city is toying with the idea of adopting rent control policies.
Concord’s City Council will vote on Tuesday whether to adopt a temporary moratorium on rent hikes and evictions.
If passed, the measure will place a 45-day ban on rent increases over 3 percent per year, establish a board to mediate rental disputes between landlords and tenants and create a hotline for tenants facing eviction.
In order to pass, the moratorium will need to garner supermajority support of at least four council members.
Tenants and landlord groups have been sparring over rent control for the past year. In previous discussions, it was revealed that a whopping majority — more than 8,500 units out of about 9,400 — would be affected by the moratorium. The remaining units are likely those protected by state law, which stipulates that condos and single-family homes are exempt from rent control, as are units built after 1995.
Groups like Tenants Together have argued that rent control can bring stabilization and slow displacement in the Bay Area, a region that is seeing even its low-income cities struggle with gentrification. Those groups put forth testimonials from people who have seen their rents rise more than triple digits, while opponents used statements from some economists and landlords claiming rent control unfairly punishes ethical landlords.
After hearing those pleas, city leaders tabled the discussion to do more research on the topic.
In Concord, data show that rents have been climbing, depending on the type of unit: Rent Jungle, a website that tracks market trends, found that the average apartment rent has increased $61 per month since April. However, two-bedroom apartments have actually seen a decrease of $26 per month on average. The website found that rents in the city are hovering around $1,972 per month.
Other cities throughout the Bay Area have implemented rent control policies, including Berkeley, San Francisco and, more recently, Richmond. But in San Mateo and Burlingame, voters struck down rent control measures by a wide margin on Election Day.
Gillian Edevane covers Contra Costa County for NBC Bay Area. Contact her at Gillian.Edevane@NBCuni.com.