Affordable housing or rent control, what’s right for Pasadena?

The City of Pasadena
The City of Pasadena

The Pasadena Tenants Union, a recently formed tenants rights group, is debating whether it should advocate for either more affordable housing or rent control in Pasadena. The group will announce its decision in February 2017, according to Pasadena Now.

Unlike a number of other Southern California cities, such as Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Palm Springs, San Francisco and Thousand Oaks, Pasadena does not have any official policies on rent control, despite the fact that 52 percent of its residents are renters.

“Obviously, it’s going to be an uphill battle, but I would say that it’s a fight that needs to happen here, particularly because a significant number of residents here rent homes, and obviously rental prices keep going up,” local labor and immigration activist Pablo Alvarado, who pushed for the formation of the union, told the paper. “Eventually, workers will come from other places to work here, and they will not be able to live here anymore.”

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There are close to 3,000 affordable housing units in Pasadena, primarily apartments, and another 1,400 low-income families who receive Section 8 housing vouchers, according to Bill Huang, Pasadena’s Director of Housing.

Under the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, which mandates 15 percent of new developments must be affordable units, 46 affordable units were developed in the city over the last year, while another 50 are currently under construction. [Pasadena Now]Gabrielle Paluch