With tenants rights groups launching a rent control initiative in Pasadena and working to put a fair rent act on the ballot in Glendale, the battle to preserve at least some affordable housing units has picked up steam.
In Glendale, where two-thirds of households rent, 59% of them are "burdened by housing overpayment," meaning that they pay over 30% of their income for rent. In Pasadena, rents in an already expensive city have reportedly risen 51.7% in the last six years, driving low- and middle-income out of town in the rush toward gentrification.
To explore these issues, the ACLU Southern California's Pasadena/Foothills Chapter—with cosponsors the Glendale Tenants Union, LA Progressive, and the Pasadena Tenants Union—will hold public forums Tuesday, March 20th, in Pasadena, and Tuesday, April 10th, in Glendale.
To put a human face on these issues, Kate Clark, a student-journalist from Occidental College, interviewed five Pasadena and Glendale residents, whose lives have been impacted by rising rents and the struggle to hold onto affordable housing.
Please click these links to read the stories by Kate:
- Nicole Hodgson: Rent Control's Human Face: Hanging On, Moving On Bob Roberts: Rent Control's Human Face: Taking It to the People Sarah Tenorio: Rent Control's Human Face: Making Change at Home Mike Van Gorder: Rent Control's Human Face: Couch Surfing at 85 Adrienne Boswell: Rent Control's Human Face: Facing Retaliation
- The Fight for Rent Control in Pasadena, by Eushrah Hossain
Kate reports that Bob, Nicole, Adrienne, Sarah and Mike range in age from 23 to 85, but all feel the pressure of landlords hungry for profit and apathetic towards the needs of the middle and lower classes. De-spite holding down stable jobs, they’ve struggled with maintaining clean, reasonably priced housing. It is clear that government intervention is needed to secure the basic human right of housing for law-abiding, hard-working citizens of Glendale and Pasadena. Politicians at the local, state and federal level need to think about Mike Van Gorder’s statement: “The problem is that right now the sole arbitrator of this essential human right is the market, and profit, and the landlord’s ability to make unlimited profit.”
Dick Price, Editor