Glendale Tenants Union: City Council Promises 6-Month Rent Freeze

glendale wiki

Glendale, Ca. Source: Wikipedia.org

November 18, 2018

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with The Sprawl. The views expressed here are not those of The Sprawl.

For immediate release. November 14th, 2018

Contact: Mike Van Gorder, (714) 932-6265 or Hayk Makhmuryan, (951) 878-9060. 

info@GlendaleTenants.org

Glendale City Council Promises 6-Month Rent Freeze

In a major victory for Glendale renters, the Glendale City Council requested an emergency rent freeze ordinance that they publicly promised to unanimously pass at the next city council meeting on November 27th. The freeze is intended to protect tenants from reactionary rent increases while city staff draws up both a possible Rent Stabilization Ordinance and a possible “Right to Lease” ordinance.

The Glendale Tenants Union forced last night’s conversation on tenants’ protections after two signature collection campaigns for rent control and five straight months of rallying in large numbers at every city council meeting.

“This is huge. It is a testament to everything that [Glendale Tenants Union] have done that for the first time our City Council is finally actually considering policy that will help tenants,”said GTU founding member Jedidjah de Vries.  “This is not the outcome the landlord and real estate special interest groups wanted. They wanted the City Council to pat us on the head, offer some half-hearted non-solution, and continue ignoring our real needs and concerns”

Mayor Zareh Sinanyan announced his support for rent control in September and directed staff to draft a report on housing, income inequality, and the affordability crisis with dialogue about the potential benefits and drawbacks of a rent control program. Last night’s council meeting was devoted entirely to this grueling nine-hour conversation.

While over 150 Glendale tenants, homeowners and property owners in support of rent control rallied out in front of city hall, dozens of landlords crowded into the lobby, preventing most rent control supporters from getting into the council chambers.

Approximately two-thirds of Glendale rents, and according to the city’s own data, 63% of them are “burdened by housing overpayment,” meaning they pay over 30% of their income on rent (1). This is on top of the 20,000 unit shortfall in affordable units – and a surplus of vacant luxury units (2).

“Unincorporated Los Angeles County just voted 4-1 to create rent stabilization and a majority of Glendale voters chose Yes on Prop Ten. The housing affordability crisis demands immediate action, and this is a good step forward,” said GTU member Hayk Makhmuryan.

The Glendale Tenants Union is an association of Glendale residents that is led by renters, supporting and advocating for our rights together. For more information please visit:

http://www.GlendaleTenants.org or http://www.facebook.com/GlendaleTenants.

1) “Discussion and Direction on the Consideration of and Ordinance Establishing a Program of Residential Rent Control/Rent Stabilization” November 13th, 2018. https://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/government/council_packets/CC_HA_111318/CC_8a_111318.pdf

2) “Discussion of Implementation of an Affordable Housing Strategy”, December 5th, 2017. http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/government/council_packets/Reports_120517/CC_HA_Item1_120517.pdf

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The Glendale Tenants Union has previously collected signatures for an ordinance establishing Rent Stabilization in the city of Glendale. They were not able to secure enough signatures to have it placed on the November ballot. Glendale is around 64% renters and the median gross rent is $1,355 (according to the most recent data from the U.S. Census). If passed, a temporary rent increase limit of 2.5% would be implemented over a six-month period. Mayor Zareh Sinanyan and Councilmember Vrej Agajanian voted in favor of the rent freeze and Councilmembers Paula Devine and Vartan Gharpetian voted against it. Councilmember Ara Najarian recused himself from the vote, citing the apartment buildings he owns as a conflict of interest.

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