\ See Details Of What Petition-Initiated Long Beach Rent Control Ballot Measure Would Enact '

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See Details Of What Petition-Initiated Long Beach Rent Control Ballot Measure Would Enact

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(November 8, 2017, 5:05 p.m.) -- LBREPORT.com (which was first (again) to report actions by "Housing Long Beach" strongly indicating that the group was preparing to pursue a petition-signature initiated Long Beach rent control ballot measure) is now first (again) to provide details of the proposed ordinance

In a "Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition" filed with the City Clerk today (Nov. 8), the measure's official proponents (Josh Butler [Housing Long Beach Exec. Dir.], Karen Reside and Martha Cota) state their intention to circulate a petition for the purpose of establishing a Long Beach ordinance "that enacts rent control, a Rent Board, and just cause eviction requirements."

In pertinent parts, the petition-initiated ordinance:

[Scroll down for further.]

  • "...would set a maximum allowable rent charge on rent controlled residential units" of "100% of the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index"

  • "...would also prohibit landlords from terminating tenancies for reasons that are not specifically listed in the proposed ordinance"

  • "would exempt "certain temporary rentals, small second units, and rental of certain rooms..."

  • would "establish a Long Beach Rent Board composed of five members appointed by the City Council" and "No more than two Board members would be permitted to own or manage rental property or be realtors."

  • would let landlords -- and tenants -- "petition the Rent Board for an upward or downward adjustment of the maximum allowable rent..."

  • In making a downward rent adjustment, the Rent Board "could consider decreases in living space, substantial deterioration of the rental unit, or failure of the housing to comply with housing, health and safety codes." The Rent Board could allow upward rent adjustments only "if the landlord demonstrates that such adjustments are necessary to provide the landlord with a fair return on investment" on terms described in the ordinance [not publicly visible at this point.]

  • The Rent Board's decision may be challenged in court and "a landlord [doesn't mention tenant] could be liable in a civil action for damages, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs as determined by the court, and a civil penalty."

  • A landlord "who violates the ordinance would be guilty of a misdemeanor" and "liable for attorney attorney fees in any litigation including evictions."

  • A landlord "could only terminate a tenancy for one of the following reasons:

    • (1) "if the tenant fails to pay rent; breaches the lease; or fails to give the landlord access to the premises in certain situations;
    • (2) "if the landlord seeks to use the unit as a primary residence by the landlord, or the landlord's spouse, children, parents or grandparents; or the landlord seeks to withdraw all units of an entire property from the rental market."

  • A landlord could "upgrade the property with provisions for appropriate pass through of costs to the tenant"

  • Relocation payments could be required "under certain circumstances in an amount to be determined by the City Council through a Relocation Ordinance to be adopted by the Council."

After the measure is reviewed by the City Attorney's office, given an official title and summary, and after proponents take some additional actions, they can begin collecting petition signatures from Long Beach registered voters. If the proponents collect and submit roughly 27,000 signatures from Long Beach registered voters (10% of city's registered voter total) within 180 days, the propoents' ballot measure would be placed on the November 6, 2018 LB city ballot, and if approved by a majority of Long Beach voters, would become part of Long Beach's Municipal Code.

The Notice of Intention recites that ordinance would "exempt from rent control units exempt under the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act" but as previously reported by LBREPORT.com, "Housing Long Beach's" open postings on Facebook invited a conclusion that it anticipates repeal of the 1995 statewide Costa-Hawkins Act (a state law 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 make Long Beach (with a population of roughly 60% renters) an even more desirable target for a rent control measure.



As previously reported by LBREPORT.com, Mayor Garcia used his "officeholder account" to give Housing Long Beach $1,000 (marked CVC for "civic donation") during the period Jan 1-June 30, 2017. The "Housing Long Beach" website also lists Mayor Garcia as among its "major funders."

LBREPORT.com notes that during the prior six month period, the "Apartment Association of CA Southern Cities" gave Garcia's "officeholder account" a contribution of $1,000.


LB Councilmembers, with support from Mayor Garcia, have encouraged developers to create high rise residential density downtown (much of it rental, not ownership). In 2016, the Council approved a "Mid-City" land use plan that incentivizes mixed-use rental units. In the coming weeks or months, the Council may soon decide on a city staff proposed Land Use Element revision that proposes mixed-use residential density in varying intensities in various areas citywide.

LBREPORT.com has noted [in a previously published perspective piece] that 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


Nov. 9, 12:20 p.m. Adds text indicating that proponents must submit roughly 27,000 signatures within 180 days from LB registered voters.




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