Chula Vista Mayor Leads Charge to Bring Tenant Protection Ordinance Back
This past Tuesday evening, the Chula Vista City Council considered a proposal to expand the contract of the city’s fair housing partner to include more data collection. While the council approved the proposal, they also asked city staff to bring back the Tenant Protection Ordinance for a vote.
Mayor Mary Casillas Salas was very vocal about her support for the tenant advocates in the room. She even rebutted two housing providers who provided public comment…and no one else. She chastised housing providers for raising rents when they have so much equity in their properties. She responded to a small property owner to share how she is a “landlord” and keeps her rents low. She went on to comment on rental application fees and alluded to housing providers pocketing those fees, clearly not understanding strict laws and limits on application fees. Mayor Salas also stated that the City of San Diego took action on no-fault terminations, so why can’t they do something as well. It appears she doesn’t know that the City of San Diego ordinance is temporary, unlike the Chula Vista proposal, which is also far more restrictive.
Councilmembers Padilla and Cardenas followed up on the Mayor’s comments and shared a desire to pass an ordinance. The Mayor asked city staff to bring back the “compromise ordinance that no one was happy with.” SCRHA is not sure which iteration of the ordinance was referred to but will be reaching out to city staff to confirm which draft will come forward.
Needless to say, SCRHA is disappointed with this turn of events. Councilmember John McCann, at the recommendation of the City Attorney, recused himself. According to the staff report, he may “have a conflict of interest given his ownership interest in rental property and property management business.” The staff report goes on to say, “Otherwise, Staff is not independently aware, and has not been informed by any other City Council member, of any other fact that may constitute a basis for a decision-maker conflict of interest in this matter.” It is concerning that only Councilmember McCann has been identified as having a conflict since the Mayor herself is a rental housing provider, and Councilmember Cardenas identified herself as a renter.
SCRHA will share more information as it becomes available. We will again need members to mobilize to either stop or drastically improve the ordinance. Make sure you are signed up for SCRHA Action Alerts!
Click here to watch the Tuesday’s Council hearing. The item begins at about the 1 hour 10 minute mark (1:10:30).