When Rent Control and Just Cause was placed on the ballot by the RPA in 2016, it was titled Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause For Eviction and Homeowner Protection Ordinance. The “Homeowner Protection” part was a sop to small landlords renting out single family homes to assure them that their interests were protected.
Many of those small landlords have subsequently sold those homes to get out from under the egregious regulations of the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause For Eviction and Homeowner Protection Ordinance. One of the results is that there are fewer rental units in Richmond today than there were in 2016.
Another appeal that rent control supporters originally made to landlords is that they would be allowed fair annual rent increases to keep up with inflation. Measure P is designed to take that away, reducing the allowable annual rent increases to 60 percent of inflation or 3.00 percent, whichever is greater.
When the rent board announced on April 20, 2022, an Annual General Adjustment of 5.2% (effective 9.01/2022) to reflect actual inflation, RPA City Council members panicked, believing that inflation costs should be borne by greedy landlords and not by renters. So, they cooked up Measure P to take care of that little detail.
Rent control has been unable to achieve what its proponents promised, dramatically lower rents, so they keep tweaking it to try and get there. Measure P makes no sense because rents in Richmond continue to trend lower than inflation. See the graph below showing that despite monthly variations both up and down of around $150 or less, rents have been relatively since 2016, despite 25% inflation (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items in San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA).
In other words, the real cost of Richmond rents has been dramatically decreasing, not increasing.
Figure 1 - Average Rent in Richmond CA (https://www.zumper.com/rent-research/richmond-ca)
Rent control and just cause has been a failure in Richmond, and Measure P will make it worse.
Like a lot of RPA-sponsored legislation, Measure P is based on unsubstantiated and undocumented anecdotal evidence from a few individuals rather than documented facts and statistics.
Vote NO on Measure P.