"Housing Long Beach" Active in Downtown Long Beach Collecting Names/Contact Info For Volunteers Who Could Help Gather Signatures For Forthcoming Long Beach Rent Control Ballot Measure is reader and advertiser supported. Support independent news in LB similar to the way people support NPR and PBS stations. We're not non-profit so it's not tax deductible but $49.95 (less than an annual dollar a week) helps keep us online.
(November 6, 2017, 6:30 p.m., updated Nov. 7, 10:44 a.m.) -- On Saturday night Nov. 4, a Long Beach resident spotted Housing Long Beach active downtown in the area 5th St./Pine Ave. with a staffed table collecting names and contact information for volunteers who could help collect signatures to put a petition-initiated rent control measure on the ballot in Long Beach.

The table staffer indicated to the resident that Housing Long Beach plans to submit some type of paperwork to the City, possibly as soon as in the coming weeks, to launch the process.

Earlier today (Nov. 6), emailed Housing Long Beach Exec. Dir. Josh Butler in the 4 p.m. hour, inviting him to confirm or deny the foregoing. UPDATE: At 9:42 a.m. November 7, Mr. Butler replied by email:

"Housing Long Beach and our allies have been exploring the idea of submitting a rent control measure on the ballot in Long Beach. Part of that work has been volunteer recruitment for any such potential effort. Housing Long Beach believes the time for rent control is now. More information information will be forthcoming in the days ahead."

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As previously reported by, "Housing Long Beach's" open postings on Facebook invite the conclusion that they expect repeal of the 1995 statewide Costa-Hawkins Act that currently blunts the effectiveness of local rent control measures. A bill in the state legislature to repeal Costa-Hawkins stalled in 2017 and whether or not it resurfaces in 2018, a statewide petition-initiated ballot measure has also been filed to collect signatures that could put a measure on the November 2018 statewide ballot to repeal Costa-Hawkins.

If Costa-Hawkins is repealed, it would swiftly make Long Beach (L.A. County's second largest city with 60% renters now and moves by the Mayor/Council to increase that number in future years) a target for a rent control measure.



Using the petition-initiative process, "Housing Long Beach" could write a LB rent control ballot to include legal provisions to its liking and bypass the City Council and Mayor Garcia who have thus far publicly avoided the hot button issue approaching the 2018 election cycle. On May 2, 2017, the Council (with support by Mayor Garcia) voted 8-0 (Mungo absent) to approve a City Hall-"Task Force" created package of policies to promote affordable (below market rent) housing that stopped short of including measures for "just cause" tenant eviction or rent control. [ coverage here.] However in presenting the "Task Force" recommendations, former Councilwoman/Assemblymember (subsequently Mayor Garcia-chosen Harbor Commissioner) Bonnie Lowenthal explicitly said tenant protections are valid subjects for another time and at the Council meeting, Mayor Garcia ducked the issue (saying he was awaiting further "data.")

However City Clerk-filed paperwork for Mayor Garcia's "officeholder account" shows he gave $1,000 to "Housing Long Beach" (marked CVC for "civic donation") during the period Jan 1-June 30, 2017 and the "Housing Long Beach" website also lists Mayor Garcia as among its "major funders" (webpage screen save below.) notes that during the prior six month period, the "Apartment Association of CA Southern Cities" gave Garcia's "officeholder account" $1,000.

Other Councilmembers also remained publicly mum on the issue at the May 2 Council meeting.


At the same time, LB Councilmembers, with support from Mayor Garcia, have encouraged developers to create high rise residential density downtown (much of it rental, not ownership). They've approved a 2016 "Mid-City" land use plan that incentivizes mixed-use rental units. And Councilmembers will soon decide on a controversial city staff proposed Land Use Element revision that proposes mixed-use residential density in varying intensities in various areas citywide.

The collective effect of creating an even larger constituency of LB voting renters (as opposed to home owners) carries political implications that would solidify a permanent voter base for rent control and likely tilt LB's political direction permanently in similar policy directions. .

On its website, "Housing Long Beach" says its mission is "to improve, preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing for the well-being of Long Beach residents through community organizing, policy work and systems change. Its website lists what the group calls its "major funders" as "The California Endowment," "California Community Foundation," "Liberty Hill Foundation," "Jerome S. and Grace H. Murray Foundation," "Ben And Jerry's Foundation," "Mayor Robert Garcia" (includes graphic) and the "Long Beach Affordable Housing Coalition."

Housing Long Beach Facebook page





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