Culver City to Implement Rent Freeze, Consider Rent Control

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Culver City is the latest area of Los Angeles to seriously consider rent control, amid the city’s deepening housing crisis. 

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Earlier this week, the City Council voted 4-to-1 to move forward on implementing a temporary rent freeze and to consider permanent caps on rent hikes, LAist reported.

Culver City has seen a huge influx of tech companies and jobs, which have contributed to skyrocketing rent prices and a serious housing shortage. At the moment, the neighborhood has a population of 60,000, a labor force of 70,000 and just 17,500 housing units, according to LAist.  

And the tech surge shows no sign of abating. Apple plans to hire 1,000 new positions in the area, and Amazon is moving its Amazon Studios production arm to the neighborhood, across the street from the Culver Steps development, where it leased 75,000 square feet.

Culver City is the fifth most expensive place in the nation, right below Manhattan while exceeding Santa Monica, to rent a studio apartment, according to a ranking by Apartment Guide. The average rent for a studio was $3099, close to 150 percent above the national average, according to the report.  

If Culver City were to implement rent caps, it would be part of the city-wide trend toward stronger tenant protections. Earlier this month, Inglewood passed a 5 percent cap on annual rent increases, three months after instituting a temporary rent freeze. Los Angeles has implemented rent controls in the unincorporated parts of the city. 

Despite the failure of Proposition 10 in last year’s midterm elections, which would have eased the way for rent control, advocates plan to bring the proposition back to the ballot in 2020. 

The push for tighter rent controls was spearheaded by a local group called Protect Culver City Renters.