Glendale tenant activists launch second attempt at rent control initiative

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Tenant activists are again trying to place a rent control measure before voters in Glendale.

The Glendale Tenants Union on Tuesday submitted paperwork to place a rent control ordinance on the city’s November 2018 ballot.

Before signature gathering begins, the city must issue a title and summary for the initiative. The city has 15 days to do so.

This effort comes three months after Glendale officials rejected a previous bid to put rent control on the ballot. This past October, petitioners submitted 11,186 signatures to the city, needing 10,585 to qualify. The clerk’s office, however, declared the petition “deficient and invalid” due to a number of problems.

Glendale is one of several jurisdictions in Southern California where tenant advocates or elected officials are pursuing rent control measures.

In the paragraphs below, you will find updates on the other efforts, as well as CAA’s work to defeat them.

City of Long Beach: In November 2017, a local tenant group filed a petition with the city to collect signatures for a rent control ballot measure. Within hours of the filing, the city rejected the petition declaring it insufficient. The group refiled a sufficient petition on Jan. 12. The city attorney has 15 days from the filing date to create a title and summary for the proposed measure. After that, the group will have 180 days to collect 27,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The California Apartment Association has formed a broad coalition in the city of Long Beach in preparation for a potential campaign.

City of Pasadena: In November 2017, the Pasadena Tenants Union formally filed a petition with the city of Pasadena to collect signatures for a rent control ballot initiative. This petition was certified and the union is actively gathering signatures to place a rent control measure on the November 2018 ballot. The petitioners will need to submit more than 13,000 valid signatures before the May 28, 2018 deadline. If the measure does not qualify for the November 2018 ballot, it will likely be placed on a 2020 ballot because of other deadlines set forth by the state election code. CAA has formed a strong coalition of real estate interest groups to combat rent control in Pasadena.

City of Inglewood: In December November 2017, a group called Uplift Inglewood filed a petition to place rent control before voters, and the city attorney has since already issued title and summary. Proponents are currently collecting signatures. To qualify the measure, tenant activists need to submit 9,506 valid signatures before the May 29, 2018 deadline.

City of Hawthorne: On Jan. 23, the Hawthorne City Council discussed whether the city should consider placing a rent control initiative on the ballot for the November 2018 election. While not inclined to proceed with such a measure at present, the council indicated that city staff should return with a more comprehensive report on rent control.

County of Los Angeles: In May 2017, on the heels of a pro-rent control march in East Los Angeles, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors voted to examine tenant protection policies. The Board of Supervisors has appointed individuals to a task force to examine possible policy recommendations and held a meeting this week. CAA has spearheaded discussions with other business groups to assist with this effort.

City of Commerce: The City of Commerce formally adopted an urgency rent control ordinance in August 2017. The city renewed the ordinance on Sept. 28, 2017. CAA has been working with the city to reverse the ordinance.

City of Santa Barbara: The City Council rejected a call for rent control in 2017. The council did, however, form a task force to look at other “tenant protections.” CAA was appointed to this task force and was instrumental in steering the group discussion away from onerous proposals. The City Council will discuss the task force’s recommendations at an upcoming meeting. CAA will continue to advocate against onerous proposals.

City of Santa Ana: In reaction to a large group of tenants demanding rent control, the City Council directed staff to host a council workshop to discuss citywide affordable housing options. Rent control is expected to be among the items presented at the workshop CAA will participate in the workshop and offer productive solutions.

Tagged: Greater Inland EmpireLos AngelesOrange CountySan DiegoLong Beach

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