Is rent control a thing of the past? A newly passed ordinance in the City of Richmond is facing opposition via a mystery sponsored petition. The city’s mayor,
Tom Butt, is opposed to rent control. The mayor’s position on keeping rents stabilized for the residents is strange, especially considering he is a democrat. The median household income is approx. $62,000, while 16.2% of the residents live below the poverty level.
The City Council formally adopted a rent control and just cause for eviction policy on Aug. 5. Richmond City Clerk Pamela Christian said the petitioners have until Sept. 4 to file the referendum petition but nothing has been filed with the city to date.
The city clerk, said the petitioners would need to gather signatures from 10 percent of registered voters, or approximately 4,198, to suspend the ordinance. The referendum would then go to a vote in the city’s next general election in November 2016, she said.
To secure a special election before the general election, Christian said the petitioners would need to gather signatures from 15 percent of registered voters, or 6,297 signatures.
The policy allows for the establishment of an elected Rent Control Board and annual rent increases of 100 percent of the Consumer Price Index.
Property owners are expected to pay an annual fee to fund the program, although that fee has yet to be determined by the city. Under the ordinance, up to 40 percent of that fee can be passed on to tenants and landlords can also apply for a hardship waiver if they can’t pay the fee.
Many suspect the realtors association is behind the petition.
Is the mayor a Republican in democrat clothes?