After three months of weekly protests by community members and grassroots activists demanding the city of Glendale pass a rent control measure, Mayor Zareh Sinanyan has come out with vocal support for rent control, with fellow councilmembers showing interest to consider it as well. For the last two weeks, the landlord lobby has shown up, instigated by the anti-renter California Apartment Association. Tensions were high at the City Council meeting on October 29th with anti-rent control landlords discussing their profit margins and trying to equate them with the livelihoods of renters. Councilmembers Paula Devine and Vartan Gharpetian expressed a need for a larger study or survey to be conducted to understand how many landlords are indeed price gouging and raising rents unfairly on tenants.
GTU members say: “We do not need a study to be done – we already have statistics that have been published by the City that state that we 59% of tenants are rent burdened and there is a shortfall of about 20,000 housing units in Glendale. It is clear that a majority of renters in this city are unable to afford rising rents along with the rise in overall cost of living. The time for discussion is over.”
Despite the fact that 60% of residents are renters, the city has no rent control ordinance unlike neighboring cities of Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica. GTU has rallied at City Hall during every City Council meeting since July 7th, 2018, with increasing numbers each week, putting pressure on Councilmembers to take action.
The Glendale Tenants Union has been advocating for a Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Act since its founding in 2017. The proposed ordinance would cap rent increases at maximum 4% per year and establish a Rent Board to oversee the implementation of the new ordinance. The full text of the proposed ordinance is available at http://GlendaleTenants.org/CSFR.pdf.
This latest wave of rallies and demands are a consequence of years of deepening economic crisis, petition collections, hundreds of appearances at City Hall, and various resident groups, predating the formation of GTU, standing up against rising rents in Glendale.
On November 13, 2018, Glendale city staff will return with a report on rent control to the City Council. Members of the Glendale Tenants Union will rally at Glendale City Hall from 5:30pm.
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 www.facebook.com/GlendaleTenants.