Agenda for a Just Future,Economic & Housing Justice

Bell Gardens Rent Control Victory

September 1, 2022
By Courtney Kassel

Amidst the continuing housing crisis, organizers and advocates in smaller cities throughout Los Angeles County are advancing tenant protection and rent control campaigns to help keep people in their homes.

On Monday, the Bell Gardens City Council unanimously passed a rent stabilization ordinance that limits annual rent increases to once a year with a 4% ceiling. The ordinance will be read and voted on again on September 12th before it is signed into law.

Our partners from Unión de Vecinas, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ), and East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ) played a crucial role, working tirelessly for their community to make Bell Gardens the first city in South East LA—and the first majority Latinx city—to pass a rent control measure in the state!

This victory was a long time coming. CLRJ began working with community members in Bell Gardens to pass a rent stabilization ordinance several years ago. But the realities of the pandemic hastened the need for these protections as tenants faced a whole new world of challenges.

Of the nearly 20 cities across California that have so far implemented a local rent stabilization ordinance, Bell Gardens has the lowest median income—around $42,000, and the highest poverty rate at 28.3%—with the highest rate of renters, at nearly 87%.

And according to CLRJ, many of the families involved in the campaign suffered through COVID-related illness, job loss and housing instability while they were organizing their friends and neighbors. The campaign was born out of the necessity of the moment and is a labor of love for the Bell Gardens community.

We know the dangers of housing insecurity puts women, children, and LGBTQ communities at greater risk. That’s why we are proud to support the critical fight for housing justice. Thank you to all of the community partners, organizers and supporters who worked so hard to make this victory a reality in Bell Gardens.

Read more about the victory.