Long Beach, News

Long Beach City Council to be confronted by rent-control rally

Advocates in Long Beach plan to pack city council Tuesday to voice their opinions on whether rent control is needed in the city.

Both upholders and opposers of rent control are expected to rally before the council reviews an ordinance on the issue.

The rally will take place outside of city hall preceding the city council meeting at 4:30 p.m. March 20. The pro-rent control rally is hosted by Housing Long Beach, Latinos in Action California, Long Beach Tenants Union, Greater Long Beach Interface and Long Beach Gray Panthers. Meanwhile, Better Housing for Long Beach plans to hold a protest concurrent to the pro-rent control rally.

Currently, Long Beach consists of 60 percent voters. Last January, the city attorney’s office confirmed the Long Beach Rent Control Ordinance to create residential rent control protections. The confirmation allowed housing proponents to begin a signature collection for a rent control ballot initiative.

For Tuesday’s meeting, council members are planning to ask questions on the proposed ballot measure including if the ordinance would result in new fees and how it aims to protect homeowners.

The rent control issue has been one of contention among the Long Beach community with residents split on the issue.

According to Benyamin Chao, community organizer for Housing Long Beach, the purpose of the rally is to support rent control and rent protections in the city.

“This is important because our many long-time Long Beach residents are being displaced from the place they call home due to rising rents and gentrification,” Chao said.

Initiatives in the citizen ballot include establishing a Rental Housing Board to determine the price of rent within the city and enacting “just cause for eviction” requirements

The organization claims the ordinance will destroy property and real estate industry in the city, and suggests small businesses will be forced to sell their properties due to rising rent prices.

Sarah Vehrs contributed to this story.

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