The Rent Control Vote: Prelude to More Conflict or Real Solutions?

By Andre F. Shashaty

The narrow defeat of rent control at the polls in Santa Rosa on June 6 must not be seen as the end of a battle about housing, but the beginning of a dialogue about priorities and political power in the North Bay. If we don't address the fundamental reasons for the crisis that lead to the demand for rent control, today's problems will look like child's play in a few short years.

As the publisher of NorthBay biz, Norm Rosinski, pointed out in a column earlier this year [Publisher's Forum, April 2017], the only solution to the housing crisis is to build more housing. Rent control advocates said that increasing supply made sense as a long term goal, but immediate relief should be imposed by regulation. Apartment owners said that increasing the supply was the only real solution and that rent control was counterproductive.

Let's focus on the good news: Both sides agree on the need for more housing.....Read More

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