Claremont City Council to vote on tenant protection ordinance

A drawing of a row of cute houses, with mountains visible in the background. The drawing uses a blue-grey color palette.
(Ella Lehavi • The Student Life)

Following months of a temporary moratorium on renovation evictions in Claremont, a permanent ordinance focused on tenant protections will be reviewed by the Claremont City Council this Tuesday, April 25.

The temporary moratorium places a hold on no-fault evictions, in which tenants can be evicted through no fault of their own but simply because the owner seeks their removal. 

The push for permanent tenant protections arose last year when residents of Monarch Terrace, an apartment complex in Claremont, faced eviction threats. These threats came due to a loophole in California tenant protection law that allowed landlords to evict a tenant on the grounds of renovation.

Tenants were protected by the Los Angeles County COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution,  enacted on March 4, 2020, to provide tenants with certain protections regarding rent control, eviction and rent payments. Just over six months later, on Oct. 25, 2022, Claremont City Council extended the LA County tenant protections that were set to end in March 2023 and put into effect its own six-month moratorium beginning in January 2023.

Lydia Hernandez is a resident of Monarch Terrace and organizer of Claremont Tenants United (CTU). She expressed fear of what the future holds for those who face eviction.

“As far as I know, no one can afford to stay in Claremont who is threatened with eviction,” Hernandez said. “It’s just pushing people out of our community, and we’d like to be able to stay, and the way to stay is in the place you’ve secured.”

The tenant protections offered under this moratorium are proposed as permanent protections under the ordinance for Tuesday’s meeting. Behind the ordinance are community groups CTU and Inclusive Claremont, a 5C-organized group in support of tenant rights. Gwen Tucker SC ’25 is the lead organizer of the group.

“My philosophy behind Inclusive Claremont is really just listening to what people in the city of Claremont need,” Tucker said. “So that’s why there’s kind of flexibility in terms of the issues that we work on because we want to make sure that they’re what is most relevant and most impactful to the people who are actually experiencing struggles around affordable housing in Claremont.”

On Tuesday, the Claremont City Council will hear the ordinance and open up the discussion to public opinion. It will then discuss whether to amend, reject or accept the ordinance. The Claremont City Council is made up of five members, but only four council members will be voting on the ordinance due to a conflict of interest. Three votes out of the four will be required to pass the tenant protection ordinance.

Both CTU and Inclusive Claremont have called for certain protections to be included in the ordinance. These protections include no-fault evictions, relocation assistance, rent stabilization, additional protections for vulnerable groups and limited exemptions on evictions.

Though post-eviction relocation assistance is included in the ordinance, the focus is on preventing these evictions in the first place.

“I don’t think [relocation assistance] is going to make a large impact. I think for people that have more means it will help them to find a place a little bit easier,” Hernandez said. “But if you can’t afford the rents in the area, whether or not they give you something to help with first and last month’s rent, that’s not going to help you meet your monthly obligation. That’s why keeping people in their place has to be the first priority.”

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