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Pasadena Rental Housing Board Moves Closer to Becoming a City Department

Published on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 | 4:59 am

The City Council unanimously approved the ordinance which would establish the Pasadena Rental Housing Board (PRHB) as a City department on its first reading Monday.

The legislation was passed following the request of the PRHB members, who determined that the PRHB should be integrated as a City department in order for the board to resolve concerns regarding staffing and procurement, which were not addressed in the Measure H charter amendment.

Before voting on the ordinance, members of the Council changed its language to remove the sunset provision. 

The draft ordinance proposed by staff read that the ordinance will expire 24 months after its effective date. The amended language unanimously approved by the Councilmembers states that the City Council will reevaluate the ordinance on or before December 10, 2025. 

Councilmember Steve Madison said deleting the sunset provision is the legal thing to do.

“The part that troubles me is the sunsetting of this. The voters adopted the charter amendment. It’s now our obligation to carry out the will of the voters.”

“I don’t know where we would find the authority or the policy support for saying that we are going to take it away.”

“I suppose the right thing to do and the legal thing to do is to do everything except the sunset and we can come back every month if we want to discuss a better way, or a different way.” 

The ordinance establishing the Rent Stabilization Department seeks to implement the PRHB’s Term Sheet, a document adopted by the board last October 25, which contains the board’s specific requests related to its integration as a City department.

It provides that the Rent Stabilization Department’s Director and all other staff of PRHB will be employees of the City hired in accordance with standard City process.

As per the Term Sheet, PRHB procurements will be subject to City charter requirements that require certain contracts be subject to competitive bidding process.

PRHB’s annual budget, to be funded through the Rental Housing Fee the board will set, will be subject to the City budget approval process.

Additionally, the Term Sheet requires the City to provide furnished office space for the Rent Stabilization Department and provide other support similar to other City departments.

A second reading of the ordinance will be conducted at next Monday’s City Council meeting, according to City Atty. Michele Bagneris.

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