The Pasadena Tenants Union (PTU) fell 2,112 signatures short of the 10,224 needed to qualify for the November ballot, putting an end to the group’s first effort to bring rent control to Pasadena.
The group is part of the Pasadena Fair and Equitable Housing Coalition, which includes the Glendale Tenants Union (GTU), the Greater Pasadena Affordable Housing Group, the Pasadena League of Women Voters (LWV-PA), the Long Beach Tenants Union and the Los Angeles Tenants Union (LATU).
“From 12 individuals, which included tenants, homeowners and one landlord, meeting on Nov. 29, 2016, to being 300-plus strong today, the goal is and will continue to be to bring awareness and action regarding the rental housing crisis and tenant displacement in Pasadena,” said Nicole Hodgson of the PTU.
The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Pasadena has risen more than 51.7 percent in the past six years, with rents on some one-bedroom apartments totaling as much as $2,200 a month. Much the same situation exists in Glendale.
The proposed Pasadena measure would have limited rent increases, forced the city to adopt “just cause” eviction policies — limiting the reasons a landlord can evict a tenant — and establish an independent rental housing board.
Only a handful of Southern California cities have rent control ordinances, including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, a Californian making minimum wage would have to work 92 hours a week in order to afford the average one-bedroom apartment.
A similar effort in Glendale failed its first time in October after City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian deemed the petition “deficient and invalid.”
According to Kassakhian, the text of that measure did not contain the ballot title and summary by the city attorney. The text of the measure also was not included anywhere in the petition, a violation of the California Election Code, Kassakhian said. Further, the petition did not include a declaration by the author. The group has refiled the initiative under the proper format.