CORRECTION: Julian Pardo de Zela, who is on Mountain View’s Rental Housing Committee, said during a meeting Monday that the housing supply in the city might shrink if landlords decide to take their homes off the market because of low rents. The original story left out a portion of his remarks, but this version has been corrected.
BY KYLE MARTIN
Daily Post Staff Writer
A Mountain View committee has decided it won’t put on its agenda a discussion of temporarily suspending the rent-control law.
Rental Housing Committee member Julian Pardo de Zela asked his fellow committee members on Monday to put the question on a future committee agenda for discussion.
He noted that the law, passed by voters in 2016, calls for temporarily suspending rent control if the vacancy rate exceeds 5%.
He wanted city employees to find out if the vacancy rate has reached that threshold as people move away from Silicon Valley during the pandemic-induced recession.
Pardo de Zela said the housing supply in the city might shrink if landlords decide to take their homes off the market because of low rents.
If they rented out their units at a low rate, and then life returns to normal, the rent control law will prevent them from raising rents enough to bring them back to the pre-pandemic days. The law limits annual rent increases to the consumer price index or 5%, whichever is less.
“They’ve got a lot of units available,” Pardo de Zela said. “They don’t want to rent them right now because they might have a tenant for the long haul that they end up with at a very low base rent.”
He said that when landlords lease apartments at too low a rate for too long “that harms everyone in Mountain View.”
The rest of the committee turned down Pardo de Zela’s request to put the issue on a future agenda.
The meeting, which was held on the Zoom platform, attracted several residents who opposed Pardo de Zela’s request.
John Lashlee said ending rent control would be “a disaster for Mountain View.”
Anna Marie Morales said she is “utterly appalled” at the committee’s members, who she said “have done nothing but undermine” the city’s rent control ordinance. She said the city’s rent control is “the will of the people and should be carried out as such.”
However, the clause calling for the suspension of rent control if vacancies exceed 5% is part of the charter amendment passed by voters in 2016.