Published : Friday, May 25, 2018 | 5:02 AM
The Pasadena Fair and Equitable Housing Coalition and the Pasadena Tenants Union announced Thursday that their efforts to collect enough signatures to qualify a Pasadena rent control measure for the November, 2018 ballot have failed.
The group’s final collected signature count reached 10,224 — 2,112 signatures short of the 12,982 signatures needed by May 30.
Regardless, the Coalition said in a statement, it considers the citizen-led volunteer signature gathering efforts a success.
“From 12 individuals, which included tenants, homeowners and one landlord, meeting on November 29th, 2016 to being 300 plus strong today the goal is and will continue to be to bring awareness and action regarding the rental housing crisis and tenant displacement in Pasadena,” the Coalition said.
Volunteers who gathered signatures and canvassed neighborhoods had spent months telling Pasadenans about the Coalition’s platform in favor of rent control.
The Coalition argued the need by pointing to statistics that Pasadena is 57.1% renter occupied but only 42.9% homeowner occupied; that the average rent for a one-bedroom unit in Pasadena has reportedly risen 51.7% in the last 6 years; and that some local tenants claim they have received rental increases of $200, $800 and more a month and are at risk of being evicted for no cause.
The Coalition’s efforts had been bolstered by an infusion of tens of thousands of dollars worth of signature collection services by a statewide organization which was instrumental in getting a rent control-related initiative on the State ballot.
Both the Fair and Equitable Housing Coalition and the Tenants Union vowed to continue to fight for rent control whether or not their initiative appears on the ballot.
“Whether we make it in November 2018 or November 2020 the Coalition will continue to fight for one of the best affordable housing options available, Rent Control!” the groups said in an earlier email.
“Our housing crisis is not happening in a vacuum. We need to address as a city the continued displacement of long term residents who love Pasadena and call it home,” the Coalition’s statement yesterday said.
“Rental Housing needs to be profitable for owners, but the questions we need to ask ourselves is if one industry, such as corporate ownership of homes and apartment units, overshadows all other industries in our city what will we become of us? Why are there empty apartment units while we are in a housing crisis? Why are there empty store fronts in our city?”