Pass The Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act

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The proposed Charter Amendment to the Santa Cruz City Charter is called the Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act. Santa Cruz, California will be affected by this amendment, primarily the 56% of the population that are tenants. Renters will have better protection from unwarranted evictions and rent-hikes which have destabilized housing in the community while still ensuring profits for the landlord.

Debate Summary

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Santa Cruz is still dealing with the housing crisis. A study by the Zillow Rent Index shows that rent increased by 41% from 2013-2016. In that same time, the Santa Cruz County wages only increased by 4.8%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Santa Cruz does currently not restrict rent-hikes or evictions and this amendment would include these protections, especially ensuring “just cause for eviction. Organizations like the California Teachers Association, California Nurses Association, and Service Employees International Union all support affordable housing as a necessity for their members. The citizens of Santa Cruz need to push for these changes to the law. These changes will ensure a stronger housing market over a long period of time in which people who live and labor in the city are able to get housing within the community.

Additional Information

Additional Description: 
Rent control is about controlling the excessive rents that are required when the housing market grows faster than the wages of potential renters. Many Santa Cruz citizens who work in schools, hospitals, and service jobs are being ”priced-out” of their community. It is unfair that the labor of Santa Cruz citizens benefits the city’s economy while the residential access is being provided to people who work outside of the community in higher-paid jobs. Santa Cruz has never dealt with this problem properly and but rent control is a good option within the current situation, where rents are rising faster and burdening tenants more than ever. According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 60% of Santa Cruz renters spend about 1/3 of their income on rent. To address this problem the act will provide just cause for eviction protections, additional family protections, stabilization of rents, initial rents for new tenancies and a Santa Cruz rent board.

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Committee Members

Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs