This week, the City Council voted to revive my Emergency Renters Relief Program via an ordinance this week to assist low-income renters, including our working-poor immigrants, who have limited means to pay back rent. While the LA City Eviction Moratorium protects ALL renters affected by COVID-19, low-income renters living paycheck to paycheck will struggle more than anyone to pay rent as the economy recovers.
I earlier pledged $1 million from my discretionary funds. Los Angeles City Council President Emeritus Herb J. Wesson, Jr. pledged $150,000 and Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell pledged an additional $1 million. Councilmember Bob Blumenfield committed another $150,000 this week. This $2.3 million is seed money, and the City will now work on identifying federal dollars, as well as private donations, to make this a robust program to help people, including those who are not receiving a cent of federal aid because of their immigration status.
We need to ensure that working people who are not employed as a result of COVID-19 have access to relief funds that can help them pay rent - many will receive no funds from the federal relief package. We need to invest in our working poor families, immigrants, and communities of color who have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic.
This is a program we know how to do, since I launched a program in October 2019 to help renters being price-gouged by landlords ahead of a new State rent-control law (AB1482). States like Nevada and municipalities, like LA County, Chicago and Washington D.C., are following suit with their own programs.
PROTECTING RSO RENTAL UNITS
The City Council also recently voted to approve its own RSO (rent-controlled) units rent freeze ordinance, which strengthened the Mayor's previous rent freeze. RSO units are apartments built before October 1978, and are the only units the City of Los Angeles has authority over. They also represent well more than 75% of the City’s rental units. By law, rent on RSO units cannot be raised more than about 4% annually. The City Council voted to freeze rents on RSO units until a year after the City’s emergency declaration ends.
AND DID YOU KNOW?
The remaining 25% of the City’s rental market is dominated by units 15-years or older. On January 1, 2020 those units were required by state law, The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (AB1482), to revert rent back to March 15, 2019 rates, plus an allowable increase of 5% plus cost of living, so 8% total, and cannot be raised again for a full year.
According to the City’s Housing Department, in 2020, approximately 96% of multi-family rental units are covered by either the City’s RSO-protected or AB1482-protected units.
The Los Angeles City Council created an ordinance that went beyond the Mayor’s emergency directive and includes waving late fees and expands repayment up to 12 months. Renters are protected regardless of immigration status. El concilio de Los Ángeles pasó una ordenanza que sobrepasa las directivas de emergencia del alcalde y incluye la eliminación de la multa de cargos tardes y también aumenta el tiempo para volver a pagar de 6 meses a 12 meses. Inquilinos están protegidos sin importar su estado migratorio. Last week, the LA City Council voted to ban rent increases on RSO (Rent Controlled Units) for a year after the local emergency ends. La semana pasada, el concilio de Los Ángeles voto para prohibir el incremento de renta en unidades bajo la Ordenanza de la Estabilización de Alquiler (RSO, por sus siglas en inglés) hasta un año desde que se acabe la emergencia local del coronavirus.
If you receive an eviction notice, contact the City’s Housing Department (HCIDLA) and inform your landlord immediately that you are an Affected Tenant as a result of COVID-19 and protected by the City’s ordinance. Si used recibe una orden de desalojo, contacté al Departamento de Vivienda de Los Ángeles (HCIDLA) y avísale a su propietario que es un inquilino afectado por causa del coronavirus y que están protegidos bajo la ley. File a complaint with the Los Angeles Housing & Community Development Department (HCIDLA) at hcidla.lacity.org/File-a-Complaint or by calling (866) 557-RENT or (866) 557-7368 between 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. Para presentar una queja, contacte al Departamento de Vivienda de Los Ángeles y Comunidad para el Desarrollo (HCIDLA) llamando al (866) 557-ALQUILER o a (866) 557-7368, de lunes - viernes entre las horas de 8:30 a.m. a 4:30 p.m., y sábado y domingo, de 10 a.m a 3 p.m. For more information on L.A.’s Eviction Moratorium. Para más información de la moratoria de desalojo de Los Ángeles, por favor visite a: https://hcidla.lacity.org/covid-19-eviction-moratorium. For a list of Housing Legal Assistance Providers. Para una lista de asistencia legal para asuntos de vivienda: https://tinyurl.com/legalassistanceforhousing