In The News

Despite Rents Flattening, LA Board of Supervisors Vote on Limiting Rent Increases

The Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions, an association of housing experts and allied business associations from across Los Angeles County, will join in opposition to the proposed “Interim Ordinance to Temporarily Limit Rent Increases” that will be heard at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, September 11, 2018.

The proposed ordinance would impose a “maximum rent increase amount of 3%” and have base rents set as they are on September 11, 2018. Read the full press release on this page for more.

LA Housing Coalition expresses concerns about excluded property owners and landlords from the discussion

The LA Housing Coalition released a letter to the Tenant Protections Working Group which reiterates our interest in seeking shared solutions from all stakeholders and at the same time expresses concerns that the Working Group does not fully integrated the concerns of property owners and landlords.

Read the full letter from the LA Housing Coalition here:

Los Angeles Coalition seeks wider input from property owners in Tenant Protections Working Group

Los Angeles Coalition Offers Sage Advice to LA County Tenant Protections Working Group

Property owners given limited ability to join the conversation about rental housing issues

LOS ANGELES, June 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions, an association of housing and property experts from across Los Angeles County, will provide public testimony before the Los Angeles County Tenant Protections Working Group on Wednesday at 8 AM. Thus far, the conversation surrounding tenant protections and rent stabilization has been driven without substantial input from property owners. The working group has agreed to allow some discussion on the policies proposed, but it is unclear if the working group will allow full participation at any point.

“We strongly believe the housing crisis is a shared challenge with shared solutions. We have experience and expertise needed to create an economically viable and tenant centered approach that will increase affordable housing in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. We sincerely hope the County will take our comments, ideas and concerns seriously before implementing any policies. The absolute last thing we want to do is make it more difficult to afford to live in Southern California,” noted James Litz, Coalition Executive Board member.

Unincorporated Los Angeles County has, according the County’s own data, approximately 300,000 housing units, of which 40% are renter occupied. With only 4.5% of the land in the unincorporated County zoned for residential development, over 70% consists of single-family housing. Within the context of the unincorporated areas, the working group has considered a range of topics including just cause eviction, rent stabilization and relocation assistance.

A study conducted by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley suggests that “strict rent controls—which would become legal under a full repeal of Costa-Hawkins—constrain new housing supply and lead to the removal of existing units from the market.” Rent stabilization, even in Southern California jurisdictions that have adopted it, does not have a financial means test, which causes some renters to benefit even though they are not the target economic demographic.

Litz continued that, “we want the County to move forward with responsible solutions because we are equally at risk as tenants. Rent stabilization efforts in other jurisdictions have actually reduced housing stock by influencing tenant mobility and made it more difficult for property owners to make improvements on the property. Coupled with increased fees, taxes and utility costs, the impacts could harm everyone.”

About the Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions:

The Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions includes housing and economic experts from across Los Angeles County. The Coalition has a broad membership reaching from the Antelope Valley to Long Beach and from Santa Monica to the San Gabriel Valley. We are small property owners, apartment associations, REALTORS®, commercial property managers and business associations. We seek an inclusive and productive dialogue between tenants and property owners. For more information, visit www.LAhousingCoalition.com.

Shared housing challenges and shared housing solutions

The LA Housing Coalition released a letter on, among other topics, the need to work collaboratively between property owners, landlords and tenants for a truly effective response to the housing crisis in our region. We believe, primarily, that landlords are not in the business of evicting tenants.

We will work collaboratively and support policy solutions that address the housing crisis and are not visceral responses to unique facts between a narrow set of tenants and property owners. We believe that the Working Group has predetermined its positions, has set a course and the recommendations will reflect a bias against most property owners. It continues to be our honest desire to provide meaningful dialogue to this conversation, as our interests are also at stake.

Read the full letter from the LA Housing Coalition here:

The risks of regulating rents and rent increases

The LA Housing Coalition released a letter on the risks of regulating rents and rent increases. Property owners need tenants, just as much as tenants need a place to call home. However, implementing a regulatory structure that does nothing to help the neediest tenants while simultaneously stifling new development, is simply bad policy.

We support policies that protect tenants, provide stability and support the housing market. We cannot support a regulatory structure that ignores data, the need to build more affordable housing and the costs on property owners.

Read the full letter from the LA Housing Coalition here:

Just Cause Eviction Ordinances based on faulty premises; hurt both tenants and landlords

The LA Housing Coalition released a letter on the inherent weaknesses and risks of Just Cause eviction laws. The drive to implement Just Cause ordinances is based on a wholly incorrect premise: that landlords are in the business of evicting tenants. This concept simply is not grounded in fact and does not withstand fuller scrutiny.

Any discussion of a proposed Just Cause ordinance must take these considerations into account:

  • Evictions are extremely costly for housing providers; both unit turnover costs as well as court and legal fees are very high.
  • Just Cause eviction forces property owners to either act on a cause immediately or waive their right to act on the cause in the future. This forces owners to issue eviction notices immediately as opposed to working with a tenant to improve a situation or to give them more time to pay rent.
  • Just Cause evictions require that tenants receive a 3-day notice to move instead of 30 or 60 days. It is almost impossible to find alternative housing and move in 3 days.
  • A 3-day notice will make it more likely that the tenant will have an unlawful detainer judgement against them, which will make it more difficult for the tenant to find housing in the future, as it is a negative mark on their rental history.
  • For cases that involve nuisance or criminal activity, witness cooperation is crucial for a successful eviction. Unfortunately, the witness’s name is required to be on the 3-day eviction notice and many tenants will not agree to be a witness for fear of retaliation. For legitimate reasons of safety, many witnesses will not come forward. If an owner cannot prove a case without witnesses, then the rest of the tenant community will suffer the consequences of the illegal or nuisance behavior, since the owner cannot simply issue a 30- or 60-day notice.
  • California already has some of the most aggressive tenant protections in the country, including eviction protections. Though a 30/60-day notice of termination may be served for any reason or no reason at all, it may not be served for a discriminatory (Civil Code section 51) or retaliatory (Civil Code 1942.5) reasons. Tenants can always bring an action for retaliation or discrimination, even without Just Cause.

Just Cause evictions, much proposed rent controls or rent stabilization, are a band-aid that ignores the underlying causes and workable solutions to our housing crisis. The only way to ensure affordability within the region is to build more housing.

Read the full letter from the LA Housing Coalition here:

Los Angeles Coalition Supports County Efforts to Streamline New Affordable Housing Units

County efforts should be part of an overall strategy in which building new units is the first step

The Coalition issued the below press release in advance of anticipated ordinances to address the housing crisis in our region:

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions, an association of housing and property experts from across Los Angeles County, announced initial support for a motion introduced by Supervisors Kuehl and Ridley-Thomas. The motion, which requests the County’s Department of Regional Planning to draft ordinances on a series of housing-related items, was heard at the February 20, Board of Supervisors meeting. The ordinances, which could make it easier to create new affordable housing, are conceptually aligned with some of the goals of the Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions.

“We want the Board of Supervisors to succeed in making it easier to develop new affordable housing within the County of Los Angeles. We support streamlining the development process instead of forcing additional regulations on a bursting housing system. We firmly believe that relying solely on unilateral rent control mechanisms completely miss the larger housing issues facing the region,” said David Kissinger, a member of the Coalition.

The Coalition, who has also been an active participant with the County’s newly formed Tenant Protections Working Group, also offered to connect County leaders with members of the Coalition who have access to years of experience and substantial expertise in the Los Angeles County housing market.  The Coalition believes the Board of Supervisors should also consider tenant and owner education programs, mediation, streamlined approvals processes and the modification of development standards to allow for more housing.

“Our goals are consistent and we are an interested partner with the County. As a coalition, we feel strongly that before finalizing any ordinances, there should be great consideration given to defining a number of specific terms and policies, including ‘inclusionary zoning.’ We want the County to move forward with responsible solutions because we are equally dedicated to housing and can make an impact together,” concluded Kissinger.

About the Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions:
The Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions includes housing and economic experts from across Los Angeles County. The Coalition has a broad membership reaching from the Antelope Valley to Long Beach and from Santa Monica to the San Gabriel Valley. We are small property owners, apartment associations, REALTORS®, commercial property managers and business associations. We seek an inclusive and productive dialogue between tenants and property owners. For more information, visit our www.LAhousingCoalition.com

Media Contact: Kian Kaeni (310) 925-4078 or kian@ekapr.com

 

This is the LA Housing Coalition

Welcome to the Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions!

Check back on this site periodically for more information about the LA Housing Coalition and about Los Angeles County housing issues that we are all concerned about.

What is the LA Housing Coalition all about?

In May of 2017, the LA County Board of Supervisors approved a motion that created a “Tenant Protections Policy Development Framework” to examine and report on a host of housing related issues. Each member of the Board of Supervisors has an opportunity to appoint two members to the working group, which is supposed to convene shortly.

As a direct response to this motion, the Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions convened to ensure there was a balanced approach to addressing housing issues affecting everyone in Los Angeles. As a coalition, our goal is to create an open and workable dialogue with both the County and tenants, ensuring all have a seat at the table.

We strongly believe, as does the County, that “tenant protections could be put in place to provide at-risk tenants with greater stability in their homes.” We want the County to succeed in providing policy solutions on the current housing crisis, but with input from industry experts. We believe our inclusion will strike a balance between housing advocates and housing providers. Our goal is to create an open and workable dialogue with both the County and tenants, ensuring all have a seat at the table.

What happens next?

The Los Angeles Coalition for Responsible Housing Solutions will continue to engage the County in order to ensure that not only are responsible tenant protections sought after and implemented, but also that the County also examines how it can increase affordable housing in unincorporated areas. Our coalition strongly believes that creating policies and practices that increase the amount of affordable housing is the first issue the County needs to address.