Protect Mountain View Rent Control!
Mtn View voters passed Measure V in 2016 to end arbitrary rent hikes and prevent landlords from evicting tenants for no reason. This was a historic victory, led by grassroots group Mountain View Tenants Coalition.
Now landlords want to tear this lifeline away from 30,000+ tenants, paying signature gatherers up to $40 per signature to push what Mayor Lenny Siegel has called a “sneaky repeal” onto the November ballot. This initiative would end rent control in Mountain View and let landlords evict tenants without just cause.
The landlord lobby is calling their initiative the Homeowner, Renter and Taxpayer Protection Initiative. Don’t let them mislead you!
What can I do?Only through people power can we prevent the “sneaky repeal” from making it onto the ballot, or defeat it in November. To join the SV DSA volunteer effort for Measure V, sign up here! To landlords our city is an ATM, but for us it’s home. We won’t let them kick us out to boost their profits.
What if I already signed?If you already signed the sneaky repeal, or if you’re not sure, you can use this form letter prepared by a Tenants Coalition member to rescind your signature. Make sure to fill it out and send it in to the City Clerk as soon as possible, so it can arrive before the counting starts in early June.
The Truth About the Sneaky Repeal
The landlord campaign to kill Measure V has been using the slogan “Measure V Too Costly”, and spreading falsehoods under that banner. Let’s look at their key claims one by one:
Myth #1. Measure V is too costly, and the Rental Housing Committee established by Measure V uses taxpayer money.
INCORRECT.The RHC is funded by a fee that landlords pay, based on how many apartments they own. This fee is not passed on to taxpayers or tenants.
The city initially loaned the RHC money during its formation, but that money was paid back. NO taxpayer dollars go to the RHC, and committee members are UNPAID volunteers. (Source).
Myth #2. The sneaky repeal “expands the city’s current renter protection policies.”
INCORRECT. The sneaky repeal creates no new substantial protections for any tenant. See the text of the proposed initiative. It does create a new arbitration system, designed to favor landlords over tenants.
Myth #3. The sneaky repeal will help low-income families.
INCORRECT. Actually, all tenants, including lower-income families, would lose the protections guaranteed by Measure V if the sneaky repeal is passed, because it would eliminate rent stabilization if more than 3 percent of Mountain View’s apartments are vacant – which has always been the case in recent years.
In the unlikely event the vacancy rate drops below 3 percent for more than 6 months, it’s true that some parts of Measure V would continue to apply for lower-income tenants. However, those lower-income families would be forced to fill out a rent control application every year, documenting their income to prove under penalty of perjury that they make less than the median income.
If this initiative is supposed to help low-income families, why does it force them to fill out complicated forms and threaten them with legal repercussions if they get it wrong – or with a rent hike if they miss the deadline?
Housing for People, not Profits
Defending renter protections like Measure V is only the first step towards housing that is for people, not for profits.
All over California, tenants are organizing for a repeal of the Costa-Hawkins act, which bans cities from introducing more comprehensive and effective rent control. By working together and forming democratic tenant unions with our neighbors we will have a strong voice for our interests.
More housing needs to be built, and it needs to be controlled by the community.