This LA city may become latest to impose a rent freeze

Prop. 10's failure last November has pushed more municipalities to create their own temporary rent control measures

Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells and Culver City city hall
Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells and Culver City city hall

With average rent and housing costs continuing to climb, more cities and counties — including Los Angeles County — have enacted temporary measures to protect tenants and tighten the reins on landlords and property owners.

Now, Culver City has directed its staff to develop a plan to temporarily freeze rent, according to LAist. Close to half of Culver City’s population are renters, but it does not have any caps on rent or protections from eviction.

Landlords who oppose the freeze said it wouldn’t address the lack of housing, which they argued is the underlying cause of the affordability crisis. About 60,000 people work in Culver City, but it only has 17,500 housing units, LAist reported

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Advocates for rent control formed Protect Culver City Renters, and they are pushing for a 3-percent cap for one year so the city can develop a permanent solution.

Nearby, Inglewood recently imposed a temporary cap at 5 percent, and activists in Pasadena are pushing to place a rent control measure on their next ballot.

After a statewide measure failed in November, officials have been working to control rent in other ways, including a reboot of Proposition 10 for 2020.

Lawmakers in metropolitan hubs around the world are struggling with similar issues. Lawmakers in New York state passed a rent reform law this month, and in Germany, Berlin’s new five-year rent freeze applies to 1.5 million apartments. But property owners are expected to challenge the new laws in court. [LAist]Gregory Cornfield