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Rental Housing Board to Vote on Spending Additional $225,000 That Would Double Amount for Specialized Law Firm

Published on Monday, June 10, 2024 | 4:00 am

The Pasadena Rental Housing Board (PHRB) is set to vote on a recommendation to increase budgeting for a legal service contract with Goldfarb & Lipman, LLP by $225,000 at its Wednesday, June 12 meeting.

If approved, the amendment would bring the total contract amount to $550,000 for legal services provided to the Rental Housing Board and the Rent Stabilization Department by the law firm.

Goldfarb & Lipman, LLP was initially awarded a $50,000 contract on June 7 last year to provide interim legal services related to the implementation of the Pasadena Fair and Equitable Housing Charter Amendment.

The contract was subsequently increased by $175,000 last Sept. 27 to continue providing legal advice on various matters, including the creation of regulations for a rental registry and the establishment of a structure to administer hearings on petitions for rent adjustments.

According to the recommendation by Interim Director Phillip Leclair, the Rental Housing Board and the Rent Stabilization Department require “continued legal advisory services with specialized expertise” of rent stabilization matters.

Leclair emphasized that this expertise is crucial for advising on regulations under development and on operational risks as the Board and the Department establish programs and services over the next year.

The City Attorney’s office is concurrently recruiting for a permanent Deputy City Attorney to fulfill the role currently filled by Goldfarb & Lipman, LLP. However, the Board may still require occasional ongoing advice from the firm due to their extensive legal expertise in rent stabilization matters.

The Board is also being asked to grant the proposed contract amendment an exemption from the Competitive Selection Process.

Competitive price bidding is not required in this case pursuant to City Charter Section 1002(F), which applies to contracts for professional or unique services, according to the agenda report.

The $225,000 cost will be funded by existing and future budgeted appropriations in the Rent Stabilization Department’s operating budget for outside legal services, according to Leclair, with the full amount expected to be spent during the upcoming fiscal year 2025.

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