In May 2014 - May 2015, Imperial Beach experienced significant rent and home property value increases. It's not uncommon nowadays to find ex-Imperial Beachans posting sad goodbyes on Facebook as they make their trek to 92154 or more distant, more affordable lands. According to Zillow, that increase was 10.1% for home properties, and median rent rose by 9.4% (the difference between $1,944 median rent in May 2014, and $2,126 median rent in May 2015). Home property values are being forecast to rise another 3.5% in the May 2015 - May 2016 range. [1]

To give you an example of what the rent increase looks like, the current median rent in IB is $1,600/month ($19,200/year). That means that before the rent increase, the median would have been about $1,455/month ($17,460/year).

What should we do?

Perhaps this would be a good time to form a Rent Board (sometimes called a Rent Stabilization Board). These are city committees that publish information about renter rights, connect renter with resources, advocate for renters experiencing problems with landlords who break the law, and make policy recommendations about "rent control" (limits on the percentage that rents can increase per year).

Examples of Rent Boards

  • The City of Berkeley has a well-established rent board. They limit rents on most residential properties to ~2% per year. The board "provides tenants with increased protection against unwarranted evictions and is intended to maintain affordable housing and preserve community diversity." (Berkeley Rent Board website)

So what's next?

  • Go to City Council and see who's interested. The next Council is...August 5th at 6PM?? Someone please confirm this.

See also