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assess and reduce the proposed excessive fines.
The Association will continue to monitor this matter, advocate for our members interests and provide updates.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES TO REVISIT SYSTEMATIC CODE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM (SCEP) FEE INCREASE
In September 2020, the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID+LA) proposed a Systematic Code Enforcement Program (SCEP) fee increase from the current $43.32 to $81.25 per unit per year, an 88% increase. The Association was emphatically opposed to the proposed astronomical increase. At that time, the Los Angeles Housing Committee voted to delay any increase and directed HCID+LA to return in six months to discuss the matter.
On February 16, 2021, HCID+LA submitted an updated report and new proposed increase whereby rental housing providers would be required to pay a one-time mid-year fee of $24.85 per unit in June 2021 followed by a fee increase effective in January 2022 of $68.17 per unit per year which could be split 50/50 between the housing provider and renter.
While presented in a new configuration, the outcome is the same: an enormous increase at a time when City rental housing providers have been subject to a local eviction moratorium and rent increase freeze, have collected little, if any, rent and are depleting savings and borrowing money to maintain building operations. The proposed fee increase would be detrimental to both rental housing providers and renters during these incredibly challenging times.
Prior to the September Committee meeting and during the meeting’s public comment period, the Association expressed strong opposition to the
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proposed fee increase and urged the Committee to pause and direct that HCID+LA conduct a program evaluation with a focus on the programmatic structure and options to maintain the program at the current funding levels.
It is anticipated that the Housing Committee will review the HCID+LA proposal in April 2021. The Association will continue to monitor this matter, adamantly oppose the proposed increase, continue to recommend a program assessment and consideration of programmatic changes, and provide updates.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AMENDS AND EXTENDS COUNTYWIDE EVICTION MORATORIUM THROUGH JUNE 30, 2021
On Tuesday, February 23rd, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors extended their Countywide Eviction Moratorium through June 30, 2021. Most concerning is that Board also adopted amendments to the moratorium that included a broad-based private right of action for the renter “or any other person or entity acting on behalf of the Tenant who will fairly and adequately represent the Tenant’s interests” and increased administrative fines and civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation for each day the violation continues. Moreover, where the aggrieved renter is disabled or 65 years old or older the court may award additional penalties of up to $5,000 per violation per day.
While in January, the Board directed the establishment of stakeholder meetings to facilitate feedback to be shared with the Board through quarterly reporting, the amendments were approved prior to the start of such stakeholder meetings and essential feedback. The first rental property owner stakeholder meeting was conducted on February 25th.
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