A key point on renting

Let me start by saying I am nothing more than a concerned resident of Alameda. I have no economic stake here, I am neither a tenant nor a landlord.

The City Council’s recent attempt at setting rent policy seems to me about picking winners and losers and unfortunately I can’t find a winner. What I do know is that an unintended consequence of the proposed policies is that a new group of losers has been added.  

These are the many retirees that have started businesses or built careers and raised families in Alameda. These are hard-working people who missed out on vacations and fancy cars in order to build a nest egg, invest in Alameda and purchase an income property to generate income in their later years. They could have invested in 401ks, or IRAs or other traditional instruments, yet they chose to invest here in our community. They chose to provide clean and safe homes for residents. 

In my opinion, the Council is attempting to severely cap their ability to generate income in retirement and penalize them for being the very kind of community members that we want in our city. In retrospect, they should have invested in the stock market — anything but provide housing for community members in Alameda. 

The winners are those who chose to invest elsewhere. The losers are the local retirees providing wonderful homes in Alameda. The proposed rent control will certainly prevent current generations of workers from investing in Alameda like their parents and further constrain the quantity and quality of rental properties that remain on the market. That would be sad for all in the end.


Ken Gonzalez