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Concord City Council passes rent control ordinance

Concord city leaders overnight Wednesday voted in favor of an ordinance that caps annual rent increases, impacting tens of thousands of renters, as well as property owners in the city.

The council was split on the issue, as was the crowd at City Hall, which got so rowdy, some people were asked to leave the meeting.

The ordinance will cap annual rent increases at 3%, or 60% of the consumer price index, and the changes only apply to multi-family complexes built before Feb. 1, 1995.

Both tenants and property owners rallied in front of City Hall before the council made a decision that could reshape the city.

The council also voted on a “just cause” eviction ordinance which in some cases would require landlords to cover some moving expenses for “no fault” evictions.

“People who are involved who are renting out single-families homes or who are renters in single-family homes are just learning about this,” said Vice Mayor Carolyn Obringer. 

During Tuesday’s meeting, council members debated the merits of the ordinance with the vice mayor even proposing putting it on the ballot in November. That proposal didn’t garner any support.

Derek Barnes with the East Bay Rental Housing Association said before the vote a cap on rent increases will have a negative impact on property owners still recovering costs from the pandemic.

“For most of our housing providers who have been in an eviction moratorium with a lot of restrictions over the last three plus years, they’ve been faced with trying to recover from that period so a lot of restrictions, a lot of caps to how much they could rent for during that period are pretty significant,” said Barnes. 

The ordinance still needs to go to a second reading by the council, which will then determine when the changes go into effect.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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