Measure H: Rent control measure for Pasadena aims to protect tenants

Some believe it'll help renters and will help tackle homelessness while others think it will make the housing situation worse.

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Friday, November 4, 2022
Measure H: Rent control measure for Pasadena aims to protect tenants
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Some believe Measure H helps renters and will help tackle homelessness while others think it will make the housing situation worse.

PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Tackling homelessness and providing protection for renters are two issues that are at the heart of Measure H, a measure that will be on the ballot in Los Angeles County next week.

However, critics of the measure believe if it passes, it will make the housing situation worse.

"It's like a sinking ship," said Ryan Bell, a campaign organizer for Measure H. "We're bailing water as fast as we can but the boat's tackling on water faster than we can bail it, and that's kind of the picture I use for what homelessness is like in L.A. county."

Bell believes one of the main culprits behind homelessness in L.A. County - and beyond - is skyrocketing home prices and soaring rent.

He believes Measure H can help stem the tide of homelessness.

The measure would change Pasadena City's Charter to create a board to limit rent increases to 75% of the Consumer Price Index annually and limit evictions. Bell lives in Pasadena.

"Rents are going through the roof in Pasadena, 10%, 15% for many residents here, and evictions are happening that are not the fault of the tenant," said Bell. "They are receiving these no fault evictions and Measure H would create some fairness in the system."

Bell said he's passionate about the measure because he's faced eviction before.

"I thought they just can't evict me for no cause, and I started looking it up and I found out they could evict me, just like they were doing," he said.

He said Measure H would provide much needed protections for tenants, such as preventing no fault evictions and limited rent increases.

"Rent control leads to a reduction in affordable housing," said Bell.

However, people like Max Sherman believe Measure H will make the housing situation worse.

Sherman is the associate director for the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, which includes Pasadena.

"It results in the deterioration of resisting housing and inhibits new construction of affordable units, which is really the long-term solution to the housing crisis and also affordability across the board," said Sherman. "There are a tons of these mom-and-pop rental housing providers that are also going to now have to carry on all of these additional costs, and they're going to go out of business. They're not going to be able to provide housing and especially affordable housing."

Bell said he hears from both sides of the issue.

"You know, we encounter people that, you know, have principled objections to rent control, or landlords who, I think, just personally don't think that it's in their interest to have rent control," he said.

Sherman believes rent control has been "a bandit solution" that's been used for too long.

"We see the detrimental effects of it, long term," he said.