Rent Issues Addressed on Monday Night

Key Meeting at Library Community Room

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A community meeting, allowing residents to comment on renter issues is scheduled for Monday, March 20, at the South Pasadena Library Community Room, 1115 El Centro Street.

Renters, property owners, and the general public have the opportunity to discuss concerns on the costs of renting and owning rental properties in South Pasadena. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

Formed in November 2016, the City Council Ad-Hoc Rent Stabilization Committee was established to conduct a comprehensive assessment of rising rents and their effects on the entire community.

The Committee is working with City staff to research the legal, fiscal, and policy aspects of potential legislation, with the goal of developing a recommendation for the full City Council to consider later this year.

That assessment will require input from all stakeholders, including both renters and property owners, to ensure that all aspects of the issue are adequately considered. The meeting will provide a forum for organized groups and individuals on all sides of the issue to present their viewpoints. City staff will also review available policy options for the Ad-Hoc Committee to consider as it develops its recommendation to the entire City Council.

Like other communities in the state, the City of South Pasadena is gathering information regarding rent control and stabilization. “We’re going to be addressing what every city is dealing with – the rise in housing costs for renters,” said South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez. “We’re aware that there’s a low inventory (of places to live) and people’s wages are not keeping up.”

The ad Hoc committee, comprised of South Pasadena Mayor Michael Cacciotti and Councilperson Dr. Marina Khubesrian, are responsible for conducting an in depth study of the issue. “They are looking at our current conditions here in South Pasadena, compared to other cities,” explained Gonzalez. “We need to make an informed decision based on data and real tangible information. Then, they’re going to look at what cities are going to implement rent control? Is it helping? What has the impact been like on the city? How costly is it to administer? Who pays for those costs? What are the impacts not only on inventory, but the property owners?”

Monday’s meeting, insists Gonzalez, is going to be a “very comprehensive” look at the city housing issue. “We know there are a lot of people who want rent control,” he continued, “so the ad Hoc committee will be reporting on their findings and will get input from the community, renters and property owners in order to form a recommendation in a couple of months to the City Council on which way they think the issue should be going.”

Cacciotti encourages renters and landlords to attend Monday’s meeting. “There have been a number of concerns brought to us about rent increases in the city. There are short-term issues and long-term issues, not only in South Pasadena, but throughout the county and state. A recent study showed that California has the highest rents.”

Cacciotti said a one-bedroom apartment in Santa Monica recently rented for more than $4,000 a month.

“These issues are affecting everybody and we want to take an opportunity to look at it and see if there are any options to resolve it,” he said.

For information on the Community Meeting on Renters Concerns, please visit www.southpasadenaca.gov/Rent.

If you have any questions, please contact Christopher Castruita, Management Analyst at (626) 403-7210 or via email at www.ccastruita@southpasadenaca.gov.

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