Three percent freeze implemented
By Keldine Hull
In the fight against rising rent prices, a five-hour discussion led to a 4-1 vote in favor of a temporary rent control measure in Culver City.
Culver City City Council voted to approve a stabilization ordinance, agreeing to cap rent increases at 3 percent annually on apartment complexes built before February 1, 1995. Landlords will also need to provide “just cause” for evicting tenants, like failure to pay rent. The rent cap applies to rents in effect as of June 11, 2019.
“Last night the City Council took an important step to protect tenants while we discuss long-term solutions addressing displacement and soaring rent prices in Culver City. Without this measure, no fair and meaningful dialogue can happen: many residents have already reached out to us with eviction notices and extreme rent hikes since this issue was first publicly discussed. I’m confident that over this year, we can work together as a community to come up with common sense measures that balance the needs of our tenants and our landlords, to provide the housing stability we so desperately need,” said Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells.
According to a rental market analysis that City Council commissioned an outside party to conduct, approximately 2,894 units are both non- rent-restricted and were constructed prior to February 1, 1995. Roughly 84 percent of multifamily units in Culver City would fall under the guidelines of the ordinance. The analysis also found that for the past 3 years, market rents in Culver City have risen 4.7 percent annually. Average rent is now $2,210- up approximately $700 since 2010.
“Everyone needs a home, and everyone needs a livelihood. Culver City’s tenants are concerned with runaway costs, stability and predictability, and so are landlords. Their concerns are strikingly similar – even though their ‘sides’ are different. Our challenge is to bridge that divide, to bring individuals together, and to provide stability for those who depend on housing and those who provide housing. We all want our families to thrive,” Sahli-Wells said. “I look forward to a constructive community dialogue while we tackle the humanitarian crisis of homelessness, and the immense challenges of housing affordability and displacement.”
The ordinance excludes single- family homes, condos, and townhouses. City Council has until August 11, 2020 to decide on the details of a permanent rent cap. A temporary cap was necessary to prevent landlords from potentially raising rent in anticipation of a freeze.
To view the full rental market analysis, click here