Solano Real Estate Scene: Solano County doesn’t need rent control

The Northern Solano County Association of Realtors is recommending a no vote on Proposition 10 (rent control) and a yes vote on Proposition 5 (senior and disabled citizen property tax). I grew up in the outer Sunset District, formerly a middle-class neighborhood in San Francisco. After graduating from high school, I rented my first apartment in 1978 on Sutter Street, a block west of Van Ness Avenue, for $175 per month. It was a bottom floor studio with an interior view of a brick wall in the light well. My parents owned a three-bedroom house on 36th and Irving Street out in the Sunset and had seven of us kids, so my brothers and sisters were happy about the extra space and bathroom time created by my move. My family home in 1978 was worth around $80,000 or so and the market rent for a similar home was around $600 per month. Today the home is worth $1.4 million and the market rent is around $6,500 per month, and the city has had rent control in place since 1979. Has rent control worked in the city? It helped some senior citizen renters that were renting in the 1980s for sure, but now that most have died or moved out, the middle class cannot afford to buy or rent in San Francisco. The government is paid for by taxpayers and there are plenty of laws and rules to promote fair housing and tenants’ rights. Affordable housing is available throughout Solano County subsidized by the taxpayers through Section 8, and many apartment complexes are designated for seniors and families that have a low income. I would like to see more taxpayer money spent on our kids’ education so they can get good jobs and achieve the American Dream of homeownership and less taxpayer money spent on bigger government to control rents and private property rights.