BOARD STRENGTHENS RENTER PROTECTIONS TO PREVENT HOMELESSNESS
Los Angeles, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported strengthening the County’s Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protections Ordinance to shore up additional protections to prevent vulnerable renters from falling into homelessness. The ordinance impacts unincorporated Los Angeles County and is intended to model protections for cities to prevent greater numbers of Angelenos from falling into homelessness. This comes as evictions increase countywide and the Greater LA Homeless Count results demonstrated that inflow into homelessness remains a challenge in scaling our response.
“As those who profit from renters find ways to increase their profits, we are meeting the moment with stronger protections that give renters a fighting chance,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath. “Rent stabilization measures for unincorporated communities are one additional way Los Angeles County is addressing the homelessness crisis with urgency and demonstrating what’s possible for all our cities — an essential partner in solving homelessness. Together, we must make every effort to take homelessness prevention seriously by tackling the issue of inflow head on.”
“The majority of Los Angeles County residents are tenants and three years after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many are still struggling to pay back rent and figure out a way to keep a roof over their heads,” said Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Strong eviction protections are critical in preventing mass displacements. Today’s vote on strengthening our Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protections Ordinance will help us avert more people from falling into homelessness—an issue we are severely grappling with and one we have to address head-on with policy and systems change.”
The strengthened protections under the revised Rent Stabilization and Tenant Protections Ordinance, include:
- Requiring that any tenant in the unincorporated areas of the County when presented with a voluntary buyout agreement be offered an amount equal to or greater than the relocation assistance amount a tenant would be entitled to under a no-fault eviction.
- Clarifying that tenants have an affirmative defense to an unlawful detainer action should a landlord fail to provide a copy of the notice of termination or eviction to the LA County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) as required under Section 8.52.090.
- Requiring that for any at-fault termination of tenancy, the termination notice must include the reason for eviction, including the date, place, witnesses and circumstances of concern.
Today’s meeting included another homelessness prevention motion introduced by Supervisors Mitchell and Solis calling for a Right to Counsel ordinance to expand eviction defense services for unincorporated LA County. For more information on that item, visit https://mitchell.lacounty.gov/newsroom/.
Last month, the University of California San Francisco issued its most comprehensive study of people experiencing homelessness statewide and found that high housing costs and low incomes left people vulnerable to homelessness, and that 70% believe that a monthly rental subsidy of $300-$500 would have prevented their homelessness for a sustained period.
Recognizing the important role Los Angeles County cities play in keeping people housed, DCBA held a Tenant Protection Summit in May and will soon launch a Tenant Protections Toolkit. For more information about that and resources available to assist tenants, rental property owners, and landlords in LA County, visit rent.lacounty.gov or stayhousedla.org