Mayor seeks to provide relief to those squeezed by rising rents
Sacramentans faced with losing their homes because of rapidly rising rents come nearly every week to City Council meetings to plead for help. Right now, the city has few tools to effectively respond to Sacramento's affordable housing crisis.
A rental trend report issued by market data reporter Apartment List, Inc. found that average Sacramento rents jumped by 9.3 percent in 2017 -- the largest increase in the country.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg and members of the Sacramento City Council are looking for ways to create more affordable housing and offer relief to those currently in duress. They are scheduled to discuss possible solutions in two housing workshops scheduled for Aug. 14 at 2 p.m. and Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. The workshops will be held in the City Council chambers at 915 I St.
"We have to recognize that creating more supply is going to take some time, and we cannot ignore the plight of people who are suffering today, including people who cannot afford double digit rent increases and even higher," said Mayor Steinberg. "These are people who are at risk of losing their apartments, then couch surfing for as long as they can before ending up in our shelters and too often on our streets."
Mayor Steinberg thinks a multi-pronged approach is needed. The first workshop will address how to increase the supply of affordable housing. Council members will examine possible funding sources that could bolster the city's Housing Trust Fund, which now has just $2.5 million, or enough to build about 15 units. Staff will also present ideas for how to speed the construction of more affordable housing by reducing parking requirements, expediting review and waiving fees, among other things.
The second workshop will address the controversial topic of rent stabilization. Mayor Steinberg said he thinks the City needs to take action to help people getting hit with arbitrary and excessive rent hikes.
He has been negotiating for months with housing advocates, labor and business leaders to come up with a plan that will shield renters from excessive increases but not put the brakes on construction of new units.