San Luis Obispo City Council votes for rental housing special el - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

San Luis Obispo City Council votes for rental housing special election

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City council members in San Luis Obispo voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve a special election to repeal and replace the controversial Rental Housing Inspection Program.

Even though the city council effectively killed the controversial program earlier this year, the council voted 5-0 to let voters decide on a new rental housing ordinance rather than adopting an initiative to permanently repeal the RHIP.

"The financial ramifications of future lawsuits from several pieces of the language in the initiative are reasons why we are concerned enough not just to adopt that language," explained Mayor Heidi Harmon.

The mail-only ballot will give voters the chance to do away with the Rental Housing Inspection Program forever and adopt a "Non-Discrimination in Housing Ordinance" if they choose. Here's how the authors describe the ordinance:

The City of San Luis Obispo shall not discriminate against any person based upon age, income, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, or inability or ability to own a home, by imposing any compulsory program, policy, intrusion or inspection applicable to any residential dwelling unit. No determination to conduct an inspection of any dwelling shall be based substantially on any occupant's age, income, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual identity or status as an owner or renter of such dwelling.

"We certainly are going to campaign vigorously to end discrimination in housing so that no one who is a renter or a homeowner - rich or poor - is treated differently in the city of San Luis Obispo," said ballot initiative proponent Stew Jenkins.

The council voted to direct the city clerk to prepare the necessary documents to call for an all-mail ballot special election pursuant to Elections Code § 1405(a).

The mayor said she expects the ballots to be mailed out sometime this summer.

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