“The effort to put a rent control law before voters has been called off for now, but the problem that prompted it remains: Long Beach is in the grip of a housing affordability crisis.
The coalition of groups that launched the unsuccessful rent control campaign said no matter what happens, tenant rights need to be strengthened. City leaders are “not doing anything to address this housing crisis and renters are being pushed out of their homes as they have been for years now,” said Josh Butler, executive director of Housing Long Beach, one of the groups involved in pushing the ballot measure.
After announcing this week the end of the local signature-gathering campaign, Butler said his coalition will focus on supporting a statewide ballot initiative, Proposition 10, which seeks to repeal a law that restricts cities from imposing rent control on units built after 1995.
Mike Murchison, a lobbyist and spokesman for the landlord group Long Beach Residents for Fair Housing, said that while landlords statewide are worried about the potential repeal of the Costa Hawkins Act, those in his coalition breathed a big sigh of relief when they learned that the signature gathering process had been suspended.
The negotiations for the future of rental housing in Long Beach will go on, Murchison said, but rent control is a non-starter.”