Pacifica’s rent control measure defeated in landslide

Pacifica voters on Tuesday, Nov. 7, overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have enacted both rent control and eviction controls on multifamily housing in the city.

Measure C went down in defeat, with 62.03 percent of the vote cast against the proposal. This marks the third time a rent control ballot measure has been resoundingly defeated in San Mateo County. Last year, voters of San Mateo and Burlingame overwhelmingly rejected rent control.

CAA is pleased that voters have rejected a law that would have been disastrous for the city. If implemented, the program would have cost Pacifica nearly $2 million, establish a non-elected bureaucracy at City Hall, diverted money earmarked for street repairs, and led to overcrowding in apartments.

The battle against rent control in Pacifica has been a long one, having started in 2015, when the City Council majority voted against the punitive policy to address the region’s housing shortage. Instead, they voted to create a Rent Advisory Task Force to explore programs that would improve relations between renters and owners. Earlier this year, however, after a change in the makeup of the City Council, the new Council majority overturned that decision, placed Measure C on the ballot, and passed an interim rent control ordinance to be in effect from May to Election Day.

CAA was instrumental in defeating both the temporary ordinance and Measure C, working in partnership with both the local Stop the Hidden Tax committee and the Pacifica Coalition of Housing Equality, which is sponsored by the San Mateo County Association of Realtors. These efforts have helped ensure that neither of these dangerous measures would cause significant damage to Pacifica, its budget, and its housing market.

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