Seniors Call for Rent Control at Pittsburg Council Meeting

(Image courtesy of the city of Pittsburg)

By Aly Brown
Bay City News

Multiple senior residents wearing blue “Seniors 4 Rent Control” T-shirts called for rent stabilization in Pittsburg during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

They cited hardship following rent hikes at their place of residence, Siena Court Senior Housing.

Linda Lewis shared that she had lived and worked in Contra Costa County for most of her life; as a retiree, she has managed to pay her rent.

“But things have drastically changed. The rent for seniors has skyrocketed,” Lewis said. “We have worked all of our lives. And now that we are old, we have to worry about paying our rent. We desperately need rent control in Pittsburg. Surrounding cities like Antioch and Concord — they’re putting rent control on their ballots, and we need to get on board and do it also.”

>>>Rent: Richmond Asks Property Not to Raise Seniors’ Rent

The city of Antioch adopted a rent stabilization ordinance that became effective on Nov. 11, 2022, and limits annual rent increases to 1.56% for rate changes set to take place in early 2024. The city also requires landlords to refund tenants who might have been charged more than the permissible rate increase after November 2022.

The discussion in the city of Concord, however, is still underway. The municipality’s recent Housing Element update committed to adopting rent stabilization. On Jan. 30, the Concord City Council will consider a revised version of the ordinance, which would limit annual rent increases to 3%, or 60% of the regional Consumer Price Index, whichever is higher. For more information, visit

During the Pittsburg meeting, other speakers shared that they have had to relocate or begin taking blood pressure medicine due to the stress of constrained finances. Some said rent consumed most of their income.

“I want to emphasize that we are not just talking about statistics and figures. We are talking about the lives of our elders who have contributed so much to our community,” said public speaker Ozzie Carter.

“Seniors in our community, residing in buildings such as Siena Court, are facing annual rent increases that outpace their fixed incomes,” Carter continued. “It is crucial for you — our mayor, council members and future candidates for our county supervisorial positions — to consider the implementation of rent control in Pittsburg.”

Members of the council did not comment on the issue, which was not on the agenda for the meeting. Officials from Siena Court did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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