The Campaign for Rent Control and Eviction Protections
The Pasadena Tenant Justice Coalition (PTJC) is launching its campaign for rent control and eviction protections in Pasadena. Our campaign will address the lack of tenant protections in Pasadena resulting in unconscionable rent increases, as well as the city’s allowance of the practice of evicting tenants who are in full observance of their lease obligations, resulting in extreme housing instability for many tenants. Low and moderate income tenants of color have been especially hard hit by the city’s failure to control rents and its permission of arbitrary evictions.
The campaign seeks to establish laws giving tenants basic dignity in their housing: rent control ensures rents cannot increase more than inflation, and eviction protections ensure landlords can’t evict tenants without cause. We will start collecting signatures for a petition in the spring of 2021 to put a measure on the ballot for March 8, 2022. Support our campaign by volunteering, donating, and spreading the word that we are here to end rent gouging and displacement of tenants!
The Campaign Today
Building Community Support
We are reaching out to all parts of Pasadena to engage the entire city in the campaign. We want everyone to know the truth about the importance of rent control and eviction protections. We will be registering people to vote and educating people about their rights as tenants!
We already know that Pasadenans want rent control - a 2019 survey of 700 likely Pasadena voters indicated a strong margin of support for rent control (top graph) and even stronger enthusiasm for new laws that would protect against unjust evictions (bottom graph)!
It is critically important that we turn this city-wide, distributed interest in tenant rights into an organized movement around rent control and just cause!
Gathering Stories of Renting
We are asking tenants to share their struggles with renting. Help Pasadena see how widespread this issue is, and how desperately we need these basic protections. You can find your neighbors' stories and share your own here
The Basics of Rent Control and Eviction Protections for Pasadena
What is rent control and what are eviction protections?
- Rent Control prevents massive annual increases in rent, while guaranteeing a fair return to landlords.
- Eviction protections provide tenants the assurance that evictions are based only on lease violations while still allowing landlords to evict tenants for non-payment of rent and unlawful activity.
Why does Pasadena need rent control and eviction protections?
- Rising rents are causing Pasadena to lose its families, its diversity, and its key community members, such as teachers, students and nurses.
As one example: if families can't afford to live in Pasadena, then they move out, taking their kids out of Pasadena schools, breaking community ties.
- Rent control encourages stable, long term residents who consider Pasadena their home and make Pasadena the community it is.
- Development of corporate-owned luxury apartments is devastating long-standing Pasadena communities with massive rent increases, cruel evictions, and gentrification.
- The City of Pasadena has consistently called homelessness its biggest problem. Rent control protects elders who live on fixed income and protects residents from becoming homeless as a result of steeply rising rents.
Will rent control dictate how much landlords can charge for rent?
- No -- landlords can set starting rents at whatever point they wish. Rent control reasonably limits how much rents can increase once a tenant has signed a lease.
Does Pasadena support rent control?
- Yes! Though it did not pass statewide, 54.8% of voters in Pasadena voted yes on Prop 10 to legalize more expansive forms of rent control--meaning a majority of Pasadenans are in favor of rent control
What will Pasadena look like in the future if rent control is not enacted?
- Without rent control and just cause, large real estate developers will continue homogenizing Pasadena into a city of luxury housing.
We can see that from 2005 to 2017, the pool of affordable units winnowed while the stock of highest-rent units increased:
- Without rent control and just cause, Pasadenans will continue to suffer from housing instability. This instability applies even for older demographics, who are more likely to be caring for school-age children or their own aging parents:
Will rent control cause landlords to lose the incentive to repair their rental units?
- Rent Control does not discourage repairs of units. In fact, tenants will send in requests for repairs, and landlords will respond to complete repairs, as a part of a system of supervision performed by a rental board.
How will these new laws be regulated?
- A no-cost rental board to the City of Pasadena will assist both tenants and landlords with housing concerns and rental housing policy for the City of Pasadena.