Redwood City won’t be voting on rent control

rent control

Proponents of a measure to impose rent control in Redwood City have failed to gather enough valid signatures to put the referendum on the November ballot, the San Mateo County Elections Office has determined.

In May, organizers led by Faith in Action submitted 6,395 signatures on a petition, greater than the 4,389 necessary to get the referendum on the November ballot. But on Monday, elections officials said the petition lacked enough signatures of Redwood City residents. 

“Upon a thorough review of each signature, the County Elections Office determined that many of the petition signers were not registered voters within Redwood City’s jurisdiction,” a statement from the city clerk said.

The measure would apply rent control to multi-unit housing built before 1995, capping rent increases at 60% of the consumer price index increase for a given year and no more than 5% of a tenant’s current rent. It also proposes stronger limits on landlord evictions and requires landlords to pay relocation fees for certain types of evictions. Additionally, landlords would need to cover the cost of implementing these protections through a rental housing fee.

The state Legislature approved a rent control law in 2019 (AB1482), which provides protections against sudden increases and unjust evictions.

Joshua Howard, spokesman for the California Apartment Association representing landlords, said the Redwood City measure would have done more harm than good.

“Rent control is a proven failed policy that discourages the creation of new rental units, reduces housing availability, and drives up rents on unregulated housing. Redwood City already offers robust renter protections, ensuring that most renters have the right to a fixed-term lease and receive relocation assistance if asked to move through no fault of their own,” Howard said in a statement before Monday’s announcement.


  1. Instead of complaining about the rent, it might make sense for these people to move to more affordable communities. I realize that sounds harsh, but moving is a better choice than staying here and living off of welfare. Many places in America are more affordable than the Bay Area.

    • The people who are being priced out are not on welfare. They are working, many of them at multiple jobs. It’s heartbreaking when families have to leave their homes and their children have to change schools. People who work here should be able to live here!

  2. It is not about moving to a more affordable community; it is about leaving the community you have grown with and built your life around and the connections you have made. It is easier said than done. America does not have more affordable places to live anymore, and it has become increasingly difficult to make a living in the U.S. It is not complaining, it is about resolving an issue that will eventually affect all of us even if right now we do not feel the repercussions or its impact.

    • I moved across the country from a dying local economy to the Bay Area over 20 years ago. Left all of my family, friends, job – all of it for a better opportunity for my family. Making that decision is far more responsible than chancing your kids being homeless. Don’t let your own selfish insecurities doom you to poverty.

  3. Nearly every community in the U.S. is more affordable than the Palo Alto area. Compare home prices or rents and you’ll see Palo Alto is off the charts. And it’s a myth that the homeless have grown up here. They were drawn to our area by the free stuff we offer —- free meals, lots of shelter space, free healthcare, free public transit, free phones. You don’t get benefits like that in New Jersey.

Comments are closed.