Oppose Richmond's TOPA Ordinance!

Oppose Richmond's TOPA Ordinance!

October 6, 2019
Petition to
Richmond CA City Council
This petition made change with 968 supporters!

Why this petition matters


Be aware of the legislation your elected officials are looking to push forward!

Richmond's city council has recently voted to develop and pursue a Tenant's Opportunity to Purchase (TOPA) ordinance. Its proponents say TOPA is another "tool" to protect low income tenants from displacement by granting them first right of refusal to negotiate a purchase with the owner prior to the building hitting the open market. However this is far from the innocent, well-meaning ordinance it’s being advertised as. The 14 page proposal presented by the council would be the biggest violation of private property rights we've seen.

Richmond has already adopted what is arguably the strictest rent control ordinance in the state. Now the council proposes to push the limit even further: Not only does Richmond want to control rents, this ordinance aims to control how owners are able to sell their property, to whom they can sell, and control the PRICE owners can sell their property for. Hundreds of small time owners have already been crippled by the regressive nature of Measure L, forcing many to sell due to fear and financial duress. Homeowners who had hoped to rent their homes for retirement income or while they worked out-of-state now realize they can no longer reclaim their homes without paying large owner move-in fees and possibly incurring large legal fees if challenged. Now this ordinance attempts to punish all property owners even further, at the expense of our city's future and for the gain of third party special interest groups.

A brief summary of the proposed ordinance is listed below:

-Allows for the sales price of the property offered to tenant(s) or their third-party assignees to be set by the City through a "city trained" appraiser.

-Prevents a property from going on the market for sale until every renter waives his or her rights in writing, creating lengthy, unpredictable time periods in which a sale, or lack thereof, can be controlled by the tenant or the tenant's third-party assignees.

-Any property purchased through this ordinance would then grant the city the power to convert purchased properties to "permanently affordable" standards by controlling its future renters, rent levels, and allowable property value for 99 years.

-Allows tenants to transfer these rights to a third party "non-profit" organization or tenants group for each potential sale of property, enabling these "non-profits" to acquire discounted property, then gain the benefits, regulation exemptions, and tax benefits not available to the private sector.

 -Third-party assignees are afforded a potential exemption from these permanently affordable housing requirements.

-Any owner who is found in violation of the regulatory process could be fined $1000/per day per unit.

-Owners may not be able to exit the rental business and use their property for other purposes without first offering the building for sale to tenants.

-Applies to any size building including single-family residences.

This ordinance is not a progressive way to promote ownership opportunities for existing tenants. There is currently no law that prevents nor discourages a sale between tenant and owner. Richmond has existing organizations that offer financial education and help facilitate home ownership for low-income residents. This proposal is simply a blatant attempt to facilitate the seizure of private property through a coercive set of regulations. We can not let this action by the city council fly under the radar.

It is imperative we tell the Richmond city council, in as many ways as possible, that we completely oppose this proposed ordinance including by signing this petition.

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Click HERE for a copy of the TOPA ordinance as well as email info to contact council directly



This petition made change with 968 supporters!

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Decision Makers

  • Richmond CA City Council