There were no items on the agenda. However, during Oral Communications, Mayor Kassakhian cited an inaccurate article in the LA Times which singled out Glendale as “the most expensive Southern California city” in which to rent.
LA Times via Yahoo News: California rents are spiking — and in places you might not expect. ‘I was in shock’?
The Times’ sample was not a good representation of actual rent costs in Glendale: “The list was compiled from data from Rent’s multifamily rental property inventory for one- or two-bedroom units between June 2021 and June 2022. The data capture only the company’s own listings, not totals for the overall rental markets, which are likely lower. Yet the findings have generated notice and underscore the growing housing affordability crisis.”
Assistant Director of Community Development, Peter Zovak, stated that the LA Times report on Glendale was misleading. He argued that Glendale would not have performed so poorly had the sampling process included data from multiple rental platforms.
Glendale’s sampling of other sites produced different conclusions. Our own local sampling has traditionally shown that our rents fall between those of Burbank and Pasadena.
I’d have added that the study didn’t look at ADUs or whole-house rentals. And the LA Times apparently didn’t consider that Glendale has performed better than other cites reaching its RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocation) numbers.
According to Zovak, Glendale has reached out to the LA Times numerous times over recent years requesting coverage of various Glendale housing programs. Some included: approximately 500 affordable housing units created, usage of Measure S funds for low income student and family assistance programs, and the conversion of market rate to workforce housing units. However, despite Zovak’s multiple requests to the LA Times, they have refused to report on those Glendale housing efforts.
Authority member, Paula Devine, suggested we focus efforts to reach a more local audience for whom the issues really matter. Suggestions included the Glendale News Press and social media.
She’s right about the need to reach people. YouTube views after this meeting totaled eight.
The Housing Authority is generally not well viewed, even though all five of our City Council members sit upon it. There were no public callers today, and the Authority typically receives few if any. Perhaps LA Times should have reported that we have a Housing Authority that we take little to no interest in. But that’s not a very interesting story.
And we can’t ignore that rents are incredibly high in Glendale. Our neighbors face it daily. We see people on social media seeking something that they can afford. Often, their budgets won’t get them much in today’s Glendale rental market. We’ve sold ourselves out to commercial developers who have pushed the “luxury” apartment narrative while providing few (second class) units for those needing affordable housing. And we’ve done it enough that Glendale has become a renter’s city. Many have cited Glendale’s renter percentage at around 67%. This 2020 Insurify Insights article calculates the number at 65.9%: Cities with the Most Renters
And, Glendale has earned a bad reputation recently for the cost of its rents. Overall, media and market coverage for Glendale doesn’t look upon us favorably:
Guaranteed Rate gives Glendale a “D-” in its cost of living category.
Last week Newsbreak reported Glendale renters face rent hikes of over $1,000 a month
Here are the median rents for other Glendale units and the year-over-year percentage price increases:
- Studios: $1,650 a month, 13 percent increase
- Two-bedrooms: $2,950 a month, 18 percent increase
- Three-bedrooms: $4,199 a month, 24 percent increase
Rentcafe.com reports the average rent in Glendale as $2,816 with an average apartment size of 859 sq. ft. ($4,472 cited by LA Times included one and two bedroom units.)
Despite the hard work of our Housing Authority, there is much more to do.