Voters in Huntington Beach will be asked to endorse a form of rent control this fall that is aimed at helping senior citizens on fixed incomes who live in mobile home parks.
There are 18 mobile home parks in the city of 200,000 and residents have complained for months about being victimized by sharp rent hikes, as much as 50% in some cases.
"I think this council wouldn't be able to look themselves in the mirror if they didn't do something about it," Councilman Dave Sullivan said.
The rent control measure, which the council agreed to place on the November ballot, originally would be extended to mobile home residents whose monthly rent is more than a third of their monthly income and would have blocked park owners from raising rent by more than 6% annually on those who qualified.
But on Monday, in a split vote, the council agreed to strip those actual numbers out of the ballot measure and instead draft an ordinance if the ballot measure is approved. That ordinance would contain the actual details of the rent control plan.
Sullivan, a principal proponent of the ballot measure, pulled his support after the language on who would be eligible for rent control was erased from the measure.
"We're on the 10-yard line, we're only behind by two points and we're choosing to punt instead of kicking a field goal," he explained.
Voters in Huntington Beach rejected a rent control measure in 2002.