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 Local Advocacy
THE LOCAL ADVOCACY UPDATE
By Danielle Leidner-Peretz,
Director, Government Affairs & External Relations
 THappy New Year!!
he year 2020 - as this unprecedented and challenging year has come to a close, it brought an opportunity for reflection and hope for the year ahead. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all our lives and
while the future remains uncertain, we continue to persevere. As we enter 2021, we begin anew, with new aspirations and possibilities for what the future holds. In the upcoming year, the Association’s resiliency and advocacy will continue, a strong voice for the Multifamily Rental Housing Industry.
As 2020 was drawing to a close, local city councils continued advancing initiatives of concern to rental housing providers. Summarized below are some of the matters that are being considered or were approved.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES – CITYWIDE TENANT ANTI-HARASSMENT PROGRAM
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On December 1 , the Los Angeles City Council
directed the City Attorney to draft a Tenant Anti- Harassment ordinance. Due to our advocacy efforts, Chairperson Cedillo’s recommendations to the City Attorney relative to the drafting of the ordinance included that the definition of harassment be written with specificity to address ambiguity and vague provisions and to require that owners be provided with notice and an opportunity to cure a repair or maintenance issue prior to it being deemed harassment.
Prior to the City Council meeting, our Association submitted a letter to the Housing Committee, where the matter had been previously discussed, expressing our position on renter harassment and that we do not condone or tolerate any form of renter harassment by our members under any circumstances. We noted that State law already provides extensive renter anti-harassment protections.
Moreover, we raised concerns that the proposal contained no provisions to address harassment of rental housing providers by renters and urged the Committee to ensure that all affected parties have legal remedies as both renters and rental housing providers may be subjected to harassment. Additionally, the Association highlighted several definitional issues that required clarification and strongly urged that the proposed excessive fines should be reduced. The proposed maximum fines would be an increase from $1,000 to $10,000. We reiterated these concerns during the meeting’s public comment period.
LOS ANGELES HOUSING + COMMUNITY INVESTMENT DEPARTMENT (HCID+LA) SYSTEMATIC CODE ENFORCEMENT (SCEP) INSPECTIONS
On December 7th, HCID+LA announced the temporary suspension of the Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) inspections as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. HCID+LA’s announcement indicated that inspectors would continue to be deployed to address life safety code violations and fire-related renter displacement issues. The HCID+LA Hotline will also continue to provide service during regular business days and hours.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS COUNTYWIDE EVICTION MORATORIUM
On December 8, 2020, the Board of Supervisors was scheduled to consider amendments and additions to the County’s eviction moratorium including additional eviction prohibitions where a renter denies entry to a housing provider with limited exceptions, provisions related to actions that would be deemed as renter harassment and the parameters for the application of rental payments and payment plans. The item was postponed, and it is anticipated that these matters will be considered at the January 5, 2021 Board meeting.
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