Rental Housing Provider Rally at Los Angeles City Hall
Thank You to All for Your Advocacy! But, Moratoriums Continue.
July 27th was an important day, a day when the City of Los Angeles’ responsible housing providers showed up strong and voiced their opposition to the City’s moratoriums on eviction and rent increases that have been in effect and unchanged for far too long, since 2020!
The message was clear. Small business rental housing providers are at the brink and need the City Council not merely to hear but actually listen to what the past two plus years of broad-brush government mandates has reaped.
The City’s moratoriums were precipitated by the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency stay at home orders and business closures put in place to address tremendous public health and safety concerns. They were adopted as a temporary solution to an urgent and then unknown imminent harm. Two plus years have since passed and these emergency measures have remained unchanged, yet the circumstances that necessitated them no longer exist.
Even more concerning are the negative consequences that have occurred as a result of this stagnation. The financial weight of the years of challenges in collecting rent, outstanding rent, escalating building maintenance and operational costs, along with and not the least of which, the City’s ever-increasing rates and fees: RecycLA rate increases, Systematic Code Enforcement fee increases, DWP rate increases, and the current hyperinflation with the inflation rate at 9% sending all types of costs soaring; the weight and impacts of all these factors has been crushing on the City’s housing providers. During this time of hyperinflation and tremendous economic instability, rental housing providers must be allowed to operate under normal conditions, collect current rent due, and issue annual allowable rent increases.
Following the rally, the City Council proceedings commenced and once again the Council voted to extend the City’s local emergency for another 30 days and through that extension, the extension of the City’s moratoriums on evictions and rent increases as both ordinance’s expiration are tied to the expiration of the local emergency. Councilmember Lee was the sole dissenting vote. While the immediate outcome was the same as it has been for the last two years, the discussion reflected the shift that is underway and that some Council Members are listening.
Councilmember Lee, who has repeatedly called upon the City Council to understand the devastating impacts that the moratoriums have had and continue to have on the City’s small “mom and pop” rental housing providers, urged the Council that it is time that they listen to our stories and to establish a date certain for the end of the moratoriums. Councilmember Blumenfield also stood up, characterizing the moratoriums as a “blunt tool” and a “band-aid that is rapidly losing its stick.” He urged the Council to develop an exit strategy, that protects renters and housing providers, especially small housing providers. Councilmember Blumenfeld further discussed the harsh consequences of the last several years noting that the City has been rapidly losing small housing providers and if that continues, housing will become more unaffordable, and homelessness will increase. Councilmember Rodriguez also spoke to the need for a responsible exit approach and that the relief provided should not be “borne on the back of any single entity or person.”
As far as next steps, the Council's requested report from the Los Angeles Housing Department on the eviction moratorium and a plan forward is anticipated to be released sometime in August which will result in more extensive City Council discussion and action.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the rally. Your voice and your advocacy are critical and are having an impact!
Rental property owners carrying signs to protest the continued moratoriums. One protestor held a sign declaring an “End to Moratoriumism.” “Moratoriumism” is a term recently created by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles to describe government oppression of rental housing providers.