News Alert: WE WON!!! Pomona Reduces New Relocation Fees by 33%!
At the April 17th meeting, the Pomona City Council considered an urgency ordinance that would drastically increase relocation fee requirements for the City’s rental housing providers. The new ordinance would have increased the relocation assistance for “No Fault” tenancy terminations up to $22,950! Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA) via outreach to City Council members, formal comment letters and public testimony and many of our members showing up and speaking at the meeting in-person, the City Council adopted the urgency ordinance with a substantial reduction by 33% in the amount of revised relocation fees.
AAGLA engaged City Council members and submitted a total of three formal comment letters (as the item was postponed twice) to the full Council (see link below for most recent comment letter) expressing our strong opposition to this urgency ordinance. We specifically pointed out the complete lack of data from City staff regarding the impact of the existing ordinance passed in August 2022 (e.g., number renters receiving relocation fees, number of owners paying relocation fees, specific No Fault reasons given for relocation, number of properties involved, etc.) and lack of analysis as to actual moving costs incurred by renters. Furthermore, we challenged the very legality of the existing ordinance based on a legal opinion of the Association’s outside counsel.
AAGLA also denounced the City’s originally proposed use of the same relocation assistance formula now in use in the City of Los Angeles. Pomona is a considerably smaller city with far fewer renters and rental housing properties with significantly lower average rents. We called on the City Council to direct staff, which also admitted that the draft urgency ordinance presented at the meeting contained typos in the important section proposing the new relocation fees, to conduct holistic research and produce the kind of comprehensive report that was required by the original urgency ordinance. AAGLA also stressed the need to engage in constructive dialogue with all the stakeholders affected, including mom-and-pop rental housing providers.
During the discussion, several members of the City Council, including Council Members Elizabeth Ontiveros-Cole and Robert Torres, raised concerns over the effectiveness of the proposed ordinance and called for a more robust stakeholder engagement by staff. Because the urgency ordinance required 5 of 7 votes to pass and recognizing how problematic the presented urgency ordinance in its original form was, Mayor Tim Sandoval, a strong supporter of the new ordinance, moved to adopt the urgency ordinance with relocation fees reduced by 33%. This percentage reduction equated to the difference between the average rents in Los Angeles County compared to Pomona, as reported by City staff during the meeting.
Due to the staff’s error in the original ordinance and the modification to the proposed fees, the specific relocation fee totals will be known once the final version of the adopted urgency ordinance is made available by the City. We will inform our members when this information is available.
We thank all our members in Pomona for their sustained involvement and efforts in opposition to this urgency ordinance. AAGLA will continue engaging with the Pomona City Council as they continue to work on a permanent rent stabilization ordinance. If you reside or own rental property in Pomona and would like to join AAGLA’s advocacy team, please reach out to Max Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can actively help protect and effect positive change for the rental housing industry. Your contributions to the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles Political Action Committee (“AAGLA PAC”) are used to effect positive change in public policy that helps YOU! Please help make sure we have the resources to continue our fight to protect your property rights against harmful regulations. Please make a contribution today to our Political Action Committee (PAC) or Legal Fund at https://aagla.org/contribute/.
This article is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions regarding your property or specific tenancies and the requirements of any local law changes described herein, please consult with an attorney.