Mountain View last week adopted a policy ensuring that rent-controlled apartments demolished for new rental housing are replaced with units that are affordable for lower-income tenants.

Under the new rules, which take effect immediately, such projects will no longer be subject to the city’s rent control ordinance, which allows landlords to raise rents as high as they please when new tenants move in.

Instead, rents will be capped at below-market rates so the units remain “naturally affordable.”

Already, state law requires that units covered by local rent control must be replaced with affordable units when renters make less than 80% of the area’s median income — $94,320 for a single person. If the units are replaced with for-sale condos or townhomes, those must also be affordable. Developers are free to build additional market-rate units, if permitted by local zoning rules.

But for rent-controlled units occupied by renters making more than 80% of the area median income, cities can decide whether replacement rental units should remain rent controlled, or if rents should be “deed restricted” and limited to below-market rates.

On Tuesday, the Mountain View City Council voted unanimously to make the latter units deed restricted, reasoning that leaving them as rent-controlled could result in rental rates spiking “considerably higher” than current levels.

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Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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