On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of a new rent freeze that will prohibit landlords from raising rent more than 3 percent in some Los Angeles communities.
Residents, landlords and activists from unincorporated areas of Los Angeles—parts of LA outside of city limits but still within county lines—marched Tuesday morning to the county board of supervisors meeting to rally in support of the rent freeze and fair housing practices.
According to a report from real estate firm Pacific Union International, residents are struggling to find homes because of the affordable housing shortage. The number of properties for sale in South LA dropped nearly 3 percent this past summer.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl says private equity housing companies are to blame for the housing shortage.
“Frankly [they] don’t care at all about their tenants,” said Kuehl.
Renters in LA county continue to face evictions, displacement and, in some cases, homelessness because of high rent increases. Over half of Los Angeles renters spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent, according to 2017 report based on analysis from Apartment List, a rental listing site.
In a homeless count conducted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, two-thirds of people in LA county are homeless due to economic reasons. In addition, landlords who are issuing eviction notices are doing so with a lack of just cause.
“We need this policy today to take effect immediately to protect tenants, to keep communities together, to keep families in their homes,” said Joe Donlin, associate director of Strategic Actions for a Just Economy.
Beverly Roberts, a South Central landlord and homeowner, voiced her support for the freeze at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
“Landlords don’t need to gouge tenants to get a fair return on our investments,” Roberts said. “It’s time for this to stop because rent is too damn high.”
The temporary cap on rent will only be in effect for six months and needs to be voted on again in the next 60 days before becoming permanent.