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Pasadena, Inglewood want rent control. But is that the best way to control high rents?




A for rent sign is posted in front of an apartment building on February 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
A for rent sign is posted in front of an apartment building on February 1, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Amidst the backdrop of the housing crisis and rising rents, activists in Inglewood and Pasadena have decided to present their respective cities’ voters with rent control initiatives.

As reported by KPCC’s Josie Huang, activists in Inglewood filed a petition for a ballot initiative in October, saying that without rent control their community members will not be able to afford housing.

Developers are pushing back, arguing that the solution to the housing crisis is to build more housing – and that rent control dissuades developers from creating more units.

Activists in other cities are following similar paths, with those in Long Beach aiming to re-file a petition in a few weeks and Glendale activists planning to put an initiative on the 2018 ballot.

As neighborhoods gentrify and rents go up, what is the best solution for keeping communities intact? What about to solve the housing crisis and create more units? Can housing problems be addressed alongside rent control?

Guests:

Josie Huang, KPCC correspondent covering housing and changing neighborhoods; she’s been following the story

J.W. Mason, assistant professor of economics at John Jay College, CUNY and fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, national public policy think-tank where his research includes the evolution of household debt and changing role of financial markets in business debt

Fred Sutton, director of Government Affairs at the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, an advocacy organization for the multifamily housing industry