Rent control spreads from pricey San Francisco to suburbs

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Once upon a time, the polarizing concept of rent control was largely limited to costly cities such as San Francisco or New York where there were too many people and not enough apartments.

But tenant demand for protections is shifting to the suburbs in the San Francisco Bay Area as priced-out workers flee to sleepy bedroom communities in search of cheaper dwellings.

The region known for a sizzling tech-fueled economy has added 440,000 jobs but only 50,000 new housing units, according to the business-sponsored Bay Area Council.

Fights over rent control have popped up around the region.

Tenant activists in Alameda and Richmond are fighting to place rent control on municipal ballots this fall, as are residents of Burlingame in the south bay, where a 97-year-old woman died in February after being served an eviction notice.