Barger casts dissenting vote as county extends rent caps 

Politics and government

News release 

Supervisor Kathryn Barger cast one of two dissenting votes Tuesday as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to extend the current 4% rental increase cap on rental units located in unincorporated areas for another six months. 

The extension runs through Dec. 31 and the 3-2 votes will also impose new rent caps as of Jan. 1.  

“My ‘no’ vote today reflects my belief that rent caps are the wrong approach to stabilizing our county’s housing crisis,” Barger, whose district includes the Santa Clarita Valley, said in a news release issued after the vote. 

“The rent cap formula selected by the majority of our board for next year does not include mortgage costs,” Barger’s statement said. “Inflation is real. Further burdening property owners who also have bills to pay – such as rising homeowners insurance – and are struggling to keep up with costs is unbalanced and the wrong approach.” 

She added: “Instead, we should focus our solutions on the power of supply and demand. Accelerating the development of more new housing in our county is our way out of the housing crisis. That includes examining California Environmental Quality Act reform and eliminating red tape. Layering restrictions on property owners wrongly treats a symptom and not the root cause of housing instability.”  

The state of California is requiring Los Angeles County to plan to accommodate 90,000 new housing units by 2029.  

A question-and-answer exchange between Barger and the county’s Regional Planning Director Amy Bodek during the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday revealed that 19,521 new housing units have been approved in the county in the past five years in unincorporated areas, the release said.  

In 2023, more than 4,800 housing units were approved. Of those, approximately 80% would be considered affordable, leaving only 20% as rentals at actual market rates, the release said. During the board meeting, county Public Works Director Mark Pestrella clarified that only 25% of those units (5,021) have been issued residential building permits – a core requirement for occupancy. 

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