Below is a copy of the ecomments I submitted to the city council regarding Action Item A last Monday, 8-17-20, I feel it involves important and unresolved issues with regard to the institution of a permanent rent control program in Culver City.
“Honorable Mayor, vice mayor and members of the council. Given that permanent rent control program in Culver City is a virtual fait accompli, I’d like to address two issues which still may be considered and accommodated. One is a provision, which the city of Los Angeles has, to give some further rent cap relief to owners who provide all the utilities to their rentals. I have a guest house for which I provide and pay for all the utilities. I am requesting that the council instruct staff to look into implementing the same kind of accommodation here in Culver City.
[The] second issue involves is the new and IMO hardly adequate definition of “Mom and Pop” owners. When I attended the listening sessions with council members Fisch and Small, as a representative small rental housing provider aka a “Mom and Pop” affordable housing provider, we all seemed to understand what constituted Mom & Pop owners of multi-unit housing. When I spoke privately to Asst. City Attorney Heather Baker on the subject and Housing administrator Tevis Barnes on the subject, we all seemed to have a mutual understanding of what constituted a “Mom & Pop” owner. Now we are being told that only an owner of a SFR residence who also owns a separately deeded SFR used as a rental is an acceptable definition of a “Mom&Pop” landlord. And to add insult to injury, according to CCAN, not only am I no longer a “Mom&Pop” housing provider, (in my case that would be a Mom & Monika housing provider) I’m not even a housing provider, I’m a realtor. I’m no longer in the business of providing affordable housing, I’m in the real estate business. Well, not according to the business license I must obtain ever year in order to do business in Culver City. They classify my business as “Housing Provider.” Not only do I not have a real estate license, but I have not purchased or sold any real estate here in Culver City or anywhere else, since my partner and I bought the property we had lived in for 23 years as renters, 20 years ago.
I respectfully request that each council member be polled and describe what they take to be the true definition of “Mom& Pop” rental unit ownership. And BTW single-family homes used as rentals are already exempt from the rental cap in the Interim Rent Control Ordinance. So, this now definition creates an empty category. Thank you for your consideration.”
Another definition that our city council uses and has left undefined is the meaning of paying a “Fair Share” when it comes to local taxes.