Rent control organizer says city council has right to take no position on initiative – Pasadena Now
A rent control advocate said Pasadena Now that the city council has taken the right position by remaining neutral on a rent control initiative.
“The campaign is very pleased with the neutrality of the council,” said Ryan Bell. “This is the right thing to do. This is a movement that has grown over more than two decades to get to where we are today with nearly 20,000 petition signatories. The city council is wise to stay out of this and let the voters decide.
The ballot provision would amend the city charter to cap annual rent increases at 2-3%.
A new rental housing board created under the city’s charter amendment would administer the requirements.
Landlords would only be allowed to evict tenants for just cause, such as non-payment of rent.
On Monday, the city council was given the opportunity to vote to support, oppose or take no position on the issue.
The council voted unanimously not to take a position.
Mayor Victor Gordo recused himself since he is the owner.
In addition, the charter amendment would stabilize rents by limiting increases to 75% of the annual increase in the consumer price index and limiting increases to once a year. A housing council would also be created to implement the regulations.
Management consultancy Management Partners, which conducted the analysis of the voter initiative, said that overall their analysis suggests rent stabilization reduces rent increases relative to market rents; that tighter regulations are more effective in preventing larger rent increases; and that regulations associated with complementary housing programs tend to be more effective.
Jay Trevino of Management Partners said implementing the measure would cost $5.8 million in the first year.
The costs would be passed on to the owners.
Consultants hired by the city answered some questions from council, but no one from the pro-rent control side of the discussion was asked to help answer questions.
“It is deeply disappointing that with so many members of the campaign team available at last night’s meeting, no questions were posed directly to those of us who know the answers,” Bell said. . “Board and staff had to guess – often wrongly – on many issues. A few of them could be corrected during the 90 second public comment, but the right thing to do would have been to have someone from the campaign available to talk about the charter amendment we drafted .
California rents are among the highest in the country. In some areas, apartment rents are now over $3,000.
About half of Pasadena’s tenants pay more than 30% of their income in rent, according to the Coalition. A quarter of the city’s tenants are heavily burdened with rent, paying more than 50% of their income in rent, the Coalition statement added.
The charter amendment would also close the “renovation loophole” and allow tenants to return to their homes if temporary relocation is needed for health and safety related repairs.
In addition, the charter amendment would stabilize rents by limiting increases to 75% of the annual increase in the consumer price index and limiting increases to once a year.
The amendment also complies with state law requiring a fair rate of return for landlords and allows tenants to seek rent reductions if repairs are not made or services are suspended.