Rent control is going beyond Oakland and San Francisco, as Concord is on the verge of implementing it, and a handful of other Bay Area cities also have rent control ballot measures in the works.

San Francisco has had rent control since 1979, and so has San Jose. Oakland passed their rent control the following year. But mostly only larger Bay Area cities have had rent control over the last few decades, until Mountain View and Richmond passed rent control measures in 2016.

That pro-rent control movement may be having another banner year in 2024, as the Chronicle reports the city council in the Contra Costa County city of Concord passed a rent control measure last week. While that vote still needs to have a “second reading,” the second vote will mostly be symbolic, and the rent control measure is expected to pass.

But it may be bigger news that this isn’t just a Concord story. According to the KQED, renter advocates are pushing to get rent control measures on the November ballot in Larkspur, Pittsburg, San Pablo and Redwood City, meaning the rent control debate will rage in the North Bay, South Bay, and East Bay for much of this year.

That debate over the effectiveness of rent control, and its possible effects on housing availability, has been going on for decades. Rent control critics point to a 2019 Stanford study that says rent control cuts down on housing stock, and drives up rents. Rent control supporters call that study “misguided,” claiming it blames the law for the behavior of landlords, and that landlords would jack up prices even more without the restrictions. And other analyses have concluded that rent control stabilizes housing for lower-income people.

The Concord rent control measure will limit annual rent increases to 3%, or “or 60% of regional inflation,” whichever is less. The Larkspur, Pittsburg, and San Pablo measures could do the same, but again, these are just proposed ballot measures collecting signatures. The Redwood City measure would allow rent increases of up to 5%, but with the regional inflation metric still in effect to account for cost-of-living adjustments.

Related: Peskin Seeks to Expand Rent Control to New Construction In SF Via Charter Amendment [SFist]

Image: Sun Valley Apartments via Yelp