The Rent Stabilization Study has ended and a position has been crafted.
On March 31, 2018 the Rent Stabilization Study group held a consensus meeting for all League members to discuss the consensus questions that would inform our new position on rent stabilization as it applies to Mountain View. Subsequently, study committee members and board members met to craft a position. The position was approved by our Board of Directors at its April 17, 2018 board meeting. Our position is as follows:
The League finds that:
1. The community benefits when people have stable housing and can afford to live near their work, when businesses have access to workers of all skill and socioeconomic levels, and when rent stabilization is cost neutral to the city.
2. These programs benefit current and future tenants in units subject to rent control by minimizing displacement and providing stable and predictable housing costs, while also providing a fair rate of return to landlords because of vacancy decontrol.
3. These programs benefit tenants in units covered by just cause from arbitrary evictions but allow landlords to evict tenants for nonpayment of rent, breach of the lease, and other specified causes.
4. Banking is fair and reasonable to tenants and landlords so long as tenants receive an annual notification explaining that the landlord is banking the allowed rent increase.
5. Tenants should have the right to petition if their units are not kept in proper repair or their services are decreased or new costs, such as utilities, are charged.
6. Landlords should have the right to petition if they are not making a fair rate of return.
7. The fair rate of return should be based upon a non-volatile index to benefit both tenants and landlords.
8. It is appropriate that the fees to operate the program shall be cost-neutral to the city.
Study Materials for the Los Altos-Mountain View Area League study on Rent Stabilization are below.
As part of this study, the Rent Stabilization Study Committee researched six jurisdictions with long standing rent stabilization programs and compared them to the rent stabilization program in Mountain View. This research included Berkeley, East Palo Alto, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Monica. Click here to view the rent stabilization program comparison research takeaways or view the full research (Excel, PDF).
Primary Reading for Study Consensus:
- Benefits of Rent Stabilization by Stephen Barton, Ph.D.
- Rent Control Needs Retirement, Not a Comeback by Megan McArdle
- Strengthening Communities Through Rent Control and Just-Cause Evictions: Case Studies from Berkeley, Santa Monica and Richmond by Urban Habitat
- Yup, Rent Control Does More Harm Than Good by Noah Smith
- An Analysis of Rent Control Ordinances in California by Beacon Economics
- In Defense of Rent Control by Jake Blumgart
- The Distributional Impact of Restrictive Rent Control Programs in Berkeley and Santa Monica, California by Michael St. John, Ph.D.
- The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco by Rebecca Diamond, Tim McQuade, & Franklin Qian
- Land Rent and Housing Policy: A Case Study of the San Francisco Bay Area Rental Housing Market by Stephen E. Barton
- Paul Krugman, You’re Wrong About Rent Control by ainglis
- Reckonings; A Rent Affair by Paul Krugman