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Home / just eviction

POP Survey Finds Majority of Pasadena Voters Support Rent Control

Results for: Do you support or oppose the Pasadena City Council adopting a rent control law that would put an annual limit on the amount a landlord can raise the rent? – Courtesy illustration / POP

82% support law blocking landlords from evicting tenants without a valid reason

A poll conducted by David Binder Research on behalf of Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP) shows overwhelming support by Pasadena registered voters in favor of local rent control and “just cause” eviction laws.

The survey of 700 registered voters revealed that 69% of Pasadena voters want the Pasadena City Council to adopt a rent control law that would put an annual limit on the amount a landlord can raise the rent. The poll found widespread the support for rent control in all seven City Council districts.

An even larger number of voters – 82% – support a law to prevent landlords from evicting tenants without a just cause, such as not paying rent, destruction of property, or exhibiting loud or violent behavior.

Results for: Do you support or oppose a Pasadena city law that prevents landlords from evicting tenants unless there is a valid reason, such as not paying rent, destruction of property, or exhibiting loud or violent behavior? – Courtesy illustration / POP

The poll found widespread support for both measures across all demographic groups, including gender, age, and race. For example, 78% of 18-38 year olds, 68% of 39-54 year olds, 61% of 55-73 year olds, and 62% of voters over 74 support rent control. It also found strong support among white (65%), Latino (78%), Asian (74%) and Black (76%) voters.

The poll asked voters their political party identification and discovered that 78% of Democrats, 73% of those with no party preference, and 37% of Republicans support rent control. More than half (55%) of homeowners and 81% of renters embrace rent control.

The poll found even stronger support for a local just cause eviction law among all demographic groups, including 86% of 18-38 year olds, 79% of 39-54 year olds, 82% of 55-73 year olds, and 76% of voters over 74; and 79% among whites, 88% among Latinos, 86% among Asians, and 79% among Black voters.

In terms of political party, 84% of Democrats, 88% of independents (“no party preference”), and 68% of Republicans support a just cause eviction policy. Almost three-quarters of homeowners (74%), and 88% of renters want the City Council to adopt a just cause law.

“The survey results aren’t surprising,” said Ed Washatka, chair of POP’s housing committee. “The voters are telling the mayor and City Council that they want them to pass laws that protect renters against skyrocketing rent increases and unjust evictions.”

“The political establishment is out of touch with the reality of ever rising housing costs and unjust evictions for immigrant and working class families and families of color, said Pablo Alvarado, POP board member and executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

Alvarado continued, “I hope that our political leaders engage in a constructive and honest dialogue to bring justice to the housing market in our city. POP will work in solidarity with the Pasadena Tenants Justice Coalition to ensure that there are protections in place for all renters in our city.”

According to the survey, a majority of voters in each City Council district supports a law to prevent landlords from evicting tenants without just cause. – Courtesy illustration / POP

POP’s Board of Directors voted unanimously to support and endorse Pasadena Tenants Justice Coalition’s (PTJC) campaign to put a rent control/just cause eviction measure on the November 2020 ballot.

According to a POP press release, “Rent control does not freeze rents, but allows landlords to increase rents on an annual basis. The PTJC initiative would allow landlords to raise annual rents based on increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Landlords will also be able to recover the costs of capital improvements.”

The scientific telephone survey, with an error rate of +/- 3.7%, was conducted by David Binder Research in February. The survey included questions of rent control and just cause eviction as well as about voters’ views about raising Pasadena’s municipal minimum wage to $15 by 2020.

“Lots of research shows that students do better in school if their families have stable housing,” said Juliana Serrano, a member of POP’s board of directors. “Raising the minimum wage and protecting families from rent gouging and unfair evictions go hand in hand.”

“We’re about to launch a major voter registration drive, focusing on tenants, who represent a majority of voters in Pasadena,” explained Kim Douglas, POP co-chair. “We want tenants’ voices to be heard. We’re also heartened that so many homeowners recognize the importance of protecting the city’s affordable rental housing so that janitors, nurses, teachers, retail clerks, waiters and waitresses, social workers, and others can live in our city.”

“POP is a multi-issue community organization,” Douglas said. “We led the fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and we’ve worked with the City Council and Pasadena Police to protect immigrants. We’ve been working on reforms to limit the use of lethal force and racial profiling by Pasadena Police Department. Now POP intends to organize the community to support the PTJC ballot initiative on rent control and just cause eviction.”

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