With air travel slowly recovering from a pandemic-related slump, the Burbank city clerk’s office says it has been flooded by requests from patrons looking to renew their passports or apply for new ones.
Ramping up efforts intended to mitigate the economic damage of the coronavirus pandemic to tenants, the Burbank City Council has voted to extend the municipal eviction moratorium and further defer rent payments.
The latter measure, which was passed unanimously on Tuesday, gives residential and commercial renters six months after the eviction moratorium is lifted to repay the rent they owe. That moratorium, which was first issued in March, was extended to Sept. 30, lining up with a similar countywide ordinance, but could be extended again.
An ordinance giving residents and businesses extra time to pay rent was already in place, setting the deadline at Nov. 30. However, City Attorney Amy Albano and Community Development Director Patrick Prescott noted in a staff report that renters may not have the financial means to pay their debts by then.
Landlords are also not allowed to charge interest for unpaid rent during the moratorium and six-month grace period.
Between 10.8% and 12.1% of local renters either deferred their rent payment or entered a payment plan in May and June, according to a city survey of local apartment owners. Between 2.4% and 3.3% did not pay rent at all and are not on a payment plan.
Andrea Ureno, a Burbank renter and single mother who explained that she takes care of her mother and daughter, called the council in support of the moratorium extension during its Tuesday meeting. Her rent, she said, has increased by $150 every year — but her wages haven’t.
After successfully suing the city clerk for denying his petition, a tenants’ advocate planning a run for City Council is one step closer to putting a rent regulation measure on the ballot in November.
Konstantine Anthony and his campaign manager Margo Rowder, co-founders of the nonprofit Burbank Tenants’ Right Committee, sued City Clerk Zizette Mullins and the council in June. Mullins rejected the plaintiffs’ petition, which included more than 7,700 valid signatures from voters, in May, saying it had not included a “statement of reasons” explaining the necessity of the proposed ordinance.
However, Anthony’s attorney, Fredric Woocher, argued that Mullins and the city attorney had misinterpreted the Elections Code, relying on a version of the law that was changed in 1987 to remove the requirement the clerk cited.
The judge agreed, approving the plaintiffs’ request to require Mullins to approve the petition on Thursday.
Continue reading “Council Hopeful, a Renters’ Advocate, Wins Suit Against Burbank”
Burbank City Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy, who has twice served as the community’s mayor and vice mayor, said this week she won’t seek reelection in November, but Councilman Timothy Murphy has confirmed he will seek another term.
Continue reading “Gabel-Luddy Won’t Seek Reelection, Murphy Will”