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We Oppose the Santa Cruz Rent Control Measure M

The Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act, November 2018 Measure M, has three major parts:

  • New laws restricting rights for nearly every property in the city including single-family homes, condos, and ADUs.

  • Creation of a new Rent Board bureaucracy costing millions paid for by both the City General Fund and new rental fees.

  • For some apartments, an annual limit on rent increases tied to the Consumer Price Index change.

Who Loses?
The vast majority.  Dramatically fewer rentals will be available and gentrification will be accelerated.  The end-date of rental contracts will be null and void for both leases and month-to-month agreements.  Ordinary homeowners can lose control over their own homes.  Neighborhoods will be damaged, since housing providers will no longer be able to take significant action to manage extra-large households, disabled vehicles, excessive noise, traffic, or even drug-dealing.  Overall rents will climb higher due to scarcity. Homelessness will increase. The quality of neighborhoods will degrade.

Who Wins With the Initiative?

Those who today are in an apartment built before 1995 and plan to stay in that same apartment for the rest of their lives.  This is a small minority of rental units and this group's size will decrease every year when people move.

 


Local Leaders Speak Out Against Measure M:

"I cannot support legislation that will eliminate rentals, discourage construction of new rentals, protect problem rentals, reduce housing options for families and make housing more scarce and expensive for the majority of renters." Santa Cruz City Mayor Terrazas

“As someone working hard to greatly increase the amount of new affordable housing we create in Santa Cruz, I am saddened that the specific rent control measure being pursued in Santa Cruz is one that would prevent new rental housing from being built. We absolutely need to vote this measure down." - Sibley Simon, President, New Way Homes

“This measure will harm our quality of life: our already sttetched city budget will need to cut millions of dollars which are needed for critical city services in order to fund this unnecessary bureaucracy.” Pamela Comstock, former Santa Cruz City Council Member

“There is little evidence suggesting that Rent Control is an efficient or equitable way to address housing affordability. In fact, it is likely that Rent Control in Santa Cruz would protect a small minority of current renters, while exacerbating the problem of affordable housing for the majority of current and future renters.” - Jesse Cunha, Professor of Economics