Members of the Glendale Tenants Union last week took the Glendale City Council to task for what they called an inadequate response to that city’s affordable housing crisis.
According to members of that group, officials recently released a 34-page staff report on housing issues in the city that does not mention rent stabilization or rent control.
The group called the report “political laziness” and a “disgraceful disservice.”
“To not even talk about rent control, the one thing we have been asking for and that we know will help us, makes you wonder where the council’s priorities really lie,” said Glendale renter and tenant union member Jedidiah de Vries.
Glendale affordable housing advocates have been forced to start over on a ballot initiative which would have forced limits on rent increases throughout the city.
A similar group in Pasadena has also started the process of forcing rent control onto the ballot to help stabilize ever increasing rents.
After turning in 11,000 signatures to the Glendale City Council on Oct. 3, the Glendale Tenants Union learned on Oct. 11 that the City Clerk had rejected their petition because it did not comply with state election laws.
Rental rates in Glendale and Pasadena are among the highest in the region. In Glendale, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment has increased over the past year by 10 percent, from $2,000 to $2,200, according to tenant advocates. In Pasadena, where a similar tenant revolt is gaining momentum, the cost of some one-bedroom apartments is also $2,200.
The Glendale initiative would have allowed property owners one annual rent increase of no more than 3 percent and mandated the creation of a rental review board to hear tenant complaints.
City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian deemed the petition “deficient and invalid.”
According to Kassakhian, the text of the ballot measure did not contain the ballot title and summary of the city attorney.
The text of the measure is also not included anywhere in the petition, which is a violation of California Election Code, Kassakhian said. The petition also did not include a declaration by the author.