As Housing Crisis Ensues, LA City Council Hears and Passes 2 Policy Solutions. Councilmember Cedillo Responds to Renters’ Call for Action

As the housing affordability crisis continues to reach staggering proportions across the city, more than 300 low-income renters and advocates will converge on the south lawn steps of City Hall to support new policy action. Last year the Renters’ Day LA movement sought to establish an annual call to action, to city councilmembers and renters alike, and an annual marker of progress in the implementation of legislative solutions to the city’s housing crisis that both preserve existing affordable housing and prioritize funding for the creation of new affordable units. In recognition of the 1st anniversary of Renters’ Day, City Councilman and Chair of the housing committee, Gil Cedillo, will introduce two new policy motions that seek to enforce against unfair rent increases and create stronger provisions for quality repairs in substandard housing conditions.

These moves highlight growing concerns about the displacement of working class families as gentrification continues to decimate low income communities of color. The Renters’ Day Coalition, a union of community organizations and advocates, has proposed a comprehensive and aggressive set of policies aimed at protecting the city’s housing stock that reaches the deepest affordability for low income earners.

Councilman Cedillo’s motion’s begin to address a longer list of policy priorities for low income renters. The Coalition demands broader and more aggressive fixes to protect the city’s rent stabilized housing stock, which includes more than 650,000 units, in the coming months.

One such fix needs to put a cap on forcible evictions through the state’s Ellis Act, a law often used by developers to demolish rent controlled housing.

“Developers, property-flippers and landlords all over L.A. are using the Ellis Act to remove thousands of affordable apartments from rent stabilization. Myself and my neighbors, some who have lived in our apartments more than 20 years, are recent victims of this trend. We call for a moratorium on Ellis Act evictions in L.A. until state and city laws can be revised to ensure more seniors and family are not pushed into the street.” says Walt Senterfitt of the Rodney Drive Tenants Association.

Los Angeles’ affordable housing stock is a critical resource for both renters and the homeless crisis. As renters continue to make up the majority of Angelenos, they continue to face eviction, threat of displacement from irresponsible development, and loss of affordable and rent controlled housing.

A study last year showed that for every 100 low-income families in Los Angeles, there are only 17 available units that are affordable at their income levels. Requests by developers to convert precious rent-controlled housing increased 40% from the previous year, converting or demolishing units in lieu of market rate housing.

Councilman Cedillo issued a public statement in council chambers about the ongoing work with the Renters’ Day Coalition and the need for more policies that provide direct relief to low income renters in Los Angeles.

WHO: Renter’s Day Coalition represents thousands of renters throughout the city that are severely rent-burdened and face displacement from their homes. The coalition includes – Alliance for Community Transit-LA, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Asian, Americans Advancing Justice-LA, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Chinatown Community for Equitable Development, East LA Community Corporation, Enterprise Community Partners, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Jon Bruno, Esperanza Community Housing, Eviction Defense Network, Hunger Action LA, Inner City Law Center, Inquilinos Unidos, Korean Immigrant Workers Alliance, LA Human Right to Housing Collective, LA Thrives, Legacy LA, Little Tokyo Service Center CDC, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Meet Each Need with Dignity, Pacoima Beautiful, People Organized for Westside Renewal, Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles, Right to the City Alliance, SEIU United Services Workers West, Shalom Center for TREE of Life, Southeast Asian Community Alliance, Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, T.R.U.S.T South LA, Thai Community Development Center, The Sober Living Network, Union de Vecinos, Unite HERE Local 11, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Venice Community Housing, Women Organizing Resources Knowledge and Services, Youth Policy Institute

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