At the January 26th 2021, meeting of the Downey City Council, newly elected Council Member Catherine Alvarez (District 3) requested that the City Council consider establishing rent control in the City of Downey.
In opening remarks discussing support for the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Alvarez said “On some levels, we in the government have provided a response but we must recognize that what we have done is not enough.”
Alvarez mentioned the vaccine rollout, and said “this vaccine will not fix the years of economic inequality and systematic disadvantage that we have seen in our community.”
She then requested a future agenda item from Mayor Claudia Frometa, saying “Over 60% of Downey’s families rent their home, and many are struggling with paying their mortgage. I believe we must study the topic and hear from the experts and the public in regard to housing affordability.”
Council Member Mario Trujillo also stated that that the City must do more to help residents impacted by the epidemic. City Manager Gilbert Olivas stated that the City Council could consider establishing rent control in the City of Downey, and Alvarez—who ran on rent control—agreed with this policy goal.
At least half of the public comments during non-agenda public comment, many in Spanish, revolved around support for rent control. One caller, identifying himself as Jorge, spoke of his neighbor who passed away following a steep rent increase.
The City Council is expected to consider rent control at an upcoming meeting. Residents can weigh in on the issue at firstname.lastname@example.org.