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Rent Control Coming: Bringing Housing Stability to Glendale

Glendale Tenants Union
Event organized by Glendale Tenants Union

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ACLU is sponsoring our *free* Rent Control Debate forum in Glendale. Join us to discuss the very real and exciting possibility of rent control in Glendale. We'll discuss the Glendale Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act, for which we are currently gathering signatures from Glendale voters in order to get rent control on the ballot. We'll also hear pros and cons regarding rent control from a variety of voices.

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Rent Control Coming: Bringing Housing Stability to Glendale
Glendale tenants routinely face steep rent increases on the basis of 30- or 60-day notices—sometimes as often as two and three times in the course of one year. Households on limited and fixed incomes find themselves unable to plan for such dramatic hits to their budgets. And some landlords have been evicting tenants on as little as a 30-day notice, requiring children to change schools mid-semester. This inability of renters to control their household costs or other circumstances of their housing is coupled with a severe lack of affordable rental housing in the City. Evicted renters are often displaced permanently from Glendale.

Advocates for housing stability for Glendale tenants promote rent control as one tool to deal with unexpected rent spikes, displacement of vulnerable populations and the loss of economic and racial/ethnic diversity. Advocates also urge the enactment of a range of tools that include:

Encouraging the preservation and production of affordable housing units;
Enacting stronger tenant protections, including ordinances that discourage landlords from failing to perform repairs, under-maintaining units and pressuring tenants to move out;
Requiring owners who get out of the rental housing business to pay a fee to mitigate the impact of the City’s loss of a portion of its affordable housing stock and
Tying condominium conversions to the City’s vacancy rate; requiring owners pay tenants’ moving expenses; requiring a portion of converted units be sold at below market rates; providing existing tenants with sale price discounts and requiring the one-for-one replacement of converted units.

Tent control opponents argue that property values will fall, as will property taxes that flow to schools, counties and municipalities. They view the real answer to housing stability for renters is the production of additional affordable rental housing. They also believe that developers in rent control jurisdictions will choose to build for-sale units instead of constructing rental units. They argue that there is no guarantee that low- or moderate-income households will inhabit the rent restricted units and that high-income families are sometimes the unintended beneficiaries of rent control.

This forum will explore the pro and con arguments of the proposal for rent control in Glendale—de-mystifying the competing concepts

Frank Broccolo is a litigator, specializing in complex commercial litigation. He will outline the controls that opponents of rent control have raised, to which the other panelists will respond - detailing how the Glendale proposal addresses the issues raised.

Mike Van Gorder is one of the petitioner for rent control in Glendale and a mainstay to the movement. He will alert the audience as to the status of the campaign.

Walter Senterfitt is a seasoned tenant organizer working on the efforts to have the LA County Supervisors adopt a rent control/just cause eviction ordinance that would cover the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. He will report on these efforts, as well as the progress towards repealing the State’s the anti-rent control law that was enacted in 1995.

Michelle White, Chair of the ACLU SoCal Pasadena/Foothills Chapter’s Economic Justice Committee, moderator.

Co-Sponsors: ACLU SoCal Pasadena/Foothills Chapter, Glendale Tenants Union, LA Progressive, Affordable Housing Services, Pasadena Tenants Union.