City of Pasadena Announces New Director of the Rent Stabilization Department

Helen MoralesAfter completing a nationwide search, City Manager Miguel Márquez, upon recommendation of the Pasadena Rental Housing Board, has appointed Helen Morales as the new Director of Pasadena’s Rent Stabilization Department. Morales will oversee a new department established by the Pasadena City Council in December 2023. Her service in Pasadena will begin on July 1, 2024.

Morales currently serves in the California Department of Housing and Community Development where she investigates and enforces the California State Preservation Law and the Surplus Land Act to ensure cities and districts first offer properties to buyers interested in maintaining affordable housing.

“Helen's expertise in rent stabilization and her deep commitment to equity stood out,” said Márquez. “We are confident she will empower both housing providers and tenants while fostering a thriving rental housing market in Pasadena."

The Pasadena Rental Housing Board also participated in the recruitment effort, providing valuable input on the selection of Morales. “The Board is excited to welcome Helen,” said Ryan Bell, Chair of the Pasadena Rental Housing Board. “Her proven track record in establishing rent stabilization programs and her collaborative approach will be invaluable as we work together to ensure a balanced and successful program for Pasadena.”

In April 2024, the City solicited feedback from Pasadena residents on the Director’s position, which oversees rent stabilization in Pasadena. The department’s mission is to empower both tenants and housing providers (landlords), ensure fair rental practices, and foster a thriving rental housing community in Pasadena through effective enforcement, education, and collaboration.

Morales has worked in various roles in the California Department of Housing and Community Development, City of Beverly Hills, City of Los Angeles, and the County of Los Angeles. She established a new Rent Stabilization Division in the City of Beverly Hills, including creating policies and procedures, forms, procedural manuals, metrics, staff goals, and training programs.

“I am honored to join the City of Pasadena and lead this important department,” said Morales. “I look forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to create a program that promotes stability and fairness for both tenants and housing providers.”

Morales earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of La Verne. In her free time, she also enjoys spending time with family and friends, biking, hiking, and gardening.

About the Pasadena Rental Housing Board and Rent Stabilization Department

The Rental Housing Board was established as part of the adoption of Measure H. Its composition, duties, authority, and oversight of the Pasadena Fair & Equitable Housing Charter Amendment was codified in the City Charter Article XVIII, Section 1811 with the passage of Measure H.

The Rent Stabilization Department was created in December 2023 to support the Pasadena Rental Housing Board to stabilize rents, provide eviction protections, and carry out the other duties set forth in the Pasadena Fair & Equitable Housing Charter Amendment (Charter Amendment) approved by Pasadena votes in November 2022.

For more information about the department, visit CityOfPasadena.net/Rent-Stabilization.

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