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Councilmembers Want to See Rent Control Initiative Impact Report

Published on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 | 6:27 am
 

The City Council on Monday voted to city staff to prepare an impact report on a local rent control initiative.

The report on the impacts could look at its fiscal impact. Its effect on the internal consistency of the city’s general and specific plans, including the housing element.

Its impact on the availability and location of housing, and the ability of the city to meet its regional housing needs.

Its impact on funding for infrastructure of all types.

Any other matters the City Council requests to be in the report. Given the City Council’s upcoming meeting schedule, and the schedule of business during that time, the impact report might be presented as soon as the July 11 City Council meeting.

The council cannot stop the initiative from going to the voters.

“The only thing the council can do is ask for a report on the impacts.” said City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris.

City staff will do an outline on the items to be included in the report and a budget for the item.

“As one of the people who asked for rent control 20 years ago, I’m really glad to see it finally happening. I wished that it were something that had been initiated by the Council and did not have to resort to a grassroots approach,” said Michelle White. “It took a lot of effort and we found that we have a lot of support.”

The LA County Registrar’s office validated the necessary signatures to move the initiative to the November ballot according to a city staff report.

The official number of the registered voters of the City of Pasadena based on the latest report to the Secretary of State is 90,369, according to the staff report. The minimum number of signatures needed to qualify the initiative petition at the required 15% threshold is 13,555 signatures.

On April 28, the LA County Registrar reported that County staff reviewed 20,564 submitted petition signatures and validated 15,101 to be the signatures of registered voters in the city of Pasadena.

“This petition reaches the 15% requirement.” said City Clerk Mark Jomsky on Monday.

A coalition of the Pasadena Tenants Union and several partner organizations in the Pasadena community is behind the Pasadena Rent Control charter amendment campaign.

The ballot provision would amend the city’s Charter to cap annual rent increases at 2-3%.

A new rental housing board established under the city’s charter amendment would administer the requirements.

Landlords would only be allowed to evict tenants for just causes, like failure to pay rent.

California rents are among the highest in the nation. In some areas rents on apartments now top $3,000.

About half of Pasadena tenants pay over 30% of their income in rent. A quarter of the city’s tenants are severely rent-burdened; paying over 50% of their income in rent, the Coalition’s statement added, according to the coalition.

The charter amendment would also close the “renoviction loophole,” and allows tenants to return to their home if temporary relocation is necessary for health and safety-related repairs.

The amendment also conforms to State law requiring a fair rate of return for landlords and allows tenants to petition for rent decreases if repairs are not made or services are withheld.

“It’s clear, the community, in a meaningful way that can literally be counted, has spoken,” said Allison Henry of the Pasadena Tenants Union. “This is what local power can look like.”

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