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L.A. Drafting Emergency Ordinance to Halt ‘No-Fault’ Evictions

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Housing Is A Human Right Applauds L.A. City Council’s Action on Eviction Crisis

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council voted today to authorize the city attorney to craft a pair of emergency ordinances aimed at halting “no-fault” evictions of people living in rental units built before 2006 and to bar all rent increases until Jan. 1, when a new state law goes into effect that provides similar protections.

Renter’s advocates say the measure is urgently needed to address a citywide eviction crisis that’s unfolding due to unscrupulous actions by landlords. Members of the council want to act quickly but the city attorney warned that the ordinance must be handled properly.

“We’re grateful to the L.A. City Council, especial council members Nury Martinez, Mitch O’Farrell, Curren Price, and Gil Cedillo, for their leadership in protecting tenants against greedy landlords,” said Housing Is A Human Right Director René Christian Moya. “We urge the council to finalize the legislation and put it to a vote as soon as possible. Tenants have no time to spare.”

Before today’s City Council meeting, Housing Is A Human Right and a broad coalition of housing justice organizations held a press conference at City Hall to urge elected leaders to respond immediately to an emerging eviction crisis. Landlords in Los Angeles, and throughout California, are evicting scores of tenants as a callous response to the passage of AB 1482, the anti-rent gouging bill that Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed into law.

Housing is a Human Right says controversial eviction attorney Dennis Block has been especially accused of fueling the eviction crisis. Block has publicly advised landlords to deliver no-fault evictions to long-time tenants and replace them with new tenants who must pay dramatically higher rents.

At the press conference today, Eviction Defense Network executive director and attorney Elena Popp said her legal clinic has been swamped by the eviction crisis. In recent days, she’s handled eviction cases for 37 buildings in the L.A. area.

“That’s 37 buildings,” said Popp. “Not 37 people.”

Gerson Sanchez, who spoke at the press conference, and his wife and two children live in a large apartment building in Los Angeles. He said that his landlord recently delivered eviction notices to everyone in the complex. Sanchez said he doesn’t know where he can find new affordable housing, and that his children are worried that they’ll become homeless.

“This situation has created a lot of stress,” said Sanchez.

At the L.A. City Council meeting, Councilmember Mike Bonin said the city is facing an eviction emergency. “The house is on fire,” he said. “We cannot allow people to be evicted.”

“If we don’t put our foot down, it’s going to be hundreds maybe thousands of buildings” of people evicted, Councilmember Koretz said. “Everything that we’ve done could be wiped out and we could end up with literally thousands of people on the streets.”

“We are possibly witnessing the unintended consequences of a law that was designed to assist our low-income earners and families who struggle on the margins,” Councilmember O’Farrell said. “We are in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, and as lawmakers we must do everything in our power to protect those renters who may face rent gouging from landlords who are trying to take advantage of a window of opportunity.”

“We did not fully anticipate that landlords would take measures to fight against AB 1482 in the worst possible ways, by trying to evict tenants who have done nothing wrong,” Councilman Curren Price said. “Just this week, my office heard from a number of tenants whose rent hiked more than 150% within the last year alone.”

The recent actions by predatory landlords in L.A. and throughout California only underscore the serious need for much stronger renter protections, said Housing is a Human Right, and that includes statewide rent control.

Housing Is A Human Right and AIDS Healthcare Foundation are currently leading the effort to place the Rental Affordability Act, an initiative that will expand rent control in California, on the 2020 statewide ballot. Already, more than 500,000 signatures have been collected in support of the Rental Affordability Act.

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LA Tenants Union Puts Repealing the Ellis Act on the Table

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LA Tenants Union puts repealing the Ellis Act on the table

LOS ANGELES (Knock.LA) — They’ve gotten commitments from Senator Maria Elena Durazo and Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo — but from the latter only in private.

Demonstrators outside of Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo’s office on Sunset Boulevard, crossing out her name on a banner because her office refused to give a public statement in support of repealing the Ellis Act. “The Ellis Act is a racist act,” they chanted.

In the final action of their week-long Days of Rage, on Monday afternoon dozens of members of the Vermont y Beverly (VyBe) Local of the Los Angeles Tenants Union (LATU) led a demonstration calling on their state representatives to repeal the Ellis Act.

The prime target of this protest was California State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo — but it wasn’t intended to be that way. VyBe had previously held […]

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Businesses Relocate in Advance of Sunset Blvd Development in Hollywood

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Businesses Relocate in Advance of 6200 Sunset Development

HOLLYWOOD (Urbanize LA) — Across the street from the kitschy Gower Gulch shopping center in Hollywood, the first signs of work on a mixed-use building at 6200 Sunset Boulevard have started to appear.

In recent months, a cluster of businesses at the southwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and El Centro Avenue have vacated the premises – making way for a residential-retail development from the Houston-based Hanover Company .

Approved plans call for the construction of a seven-story edifice containing 270 studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments atop 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and a two-level, 361-car basement parking garage.

The project, designed by Steinberg Hart, is depicted as a contemporary podium-type building – similar to other nearby projects – clad with a combination of plaster, metal, and stone tiles. Architectural plans show […]

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Crescent Heights Building Sells for $856,000 per Apartment

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Multifamily WeHo Site Brings $21 Million

WEST HOLLYWOOD (LA Business Journal) — L.A.-based Roka Properties acquired the Element WeHo, a multifamily property in West Hollywood, for $20.6 million.

The seller was a New York-based investor which had acquired the property in 2015 for $8.9 million and renovated 22 of the 24 apartments. Updates included new doors, windows, in-unit washer-dryer additions and stone slab counters.

The 24-unit Element WeHo property is located at 1425 N. Crescent Heights Blvd. It was 90% leased at the time of the sale.

“At $856,000 per unit, the sale of Element WeHo represents a record achieved in West Hollywood for a property of its size and vintage,” Tresp said in a […]

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