City Leaders Introduce Motion to Help Stabilize Skyrocketing Rents in Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Hall

CITY HALL -  Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Council President Herb Wesson on Tuesday co-introduced a motion that calls for an examination of all available options to adjust the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), adopted in 1978.

The motion directs the Housing, Community and Investment Department (HCIDLA), with the assistance of the Chief Legislative Analyst (CLA) and City Attorney (CA), to report back with recommendations on how to offset the reduction in available RSO units.

We need to look at all possible options for policy makers at the local level to include more units under the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “With a balanced approach that provides certainty to tenants while recognizing the need for property owners to make a reasonable return on their investments, we can begin to bridge the gap in availability of housing while continuing to build responsibly and with an eye on the future needs of all Angelenos.”

"We have a moral obligation to make living more affordable in Los Angeles," said Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson. "By taking a fresh look at the RSO, we have the opportunity to do right by our city's residents, property owners and next generations."

Currently, if you rent in the City of Los Angeles, your rental unit may be subject to the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), if the property received a certificate of occupancy on or before October 1, 1978.  The RSO regulates rent increases to no more than 3 percent per year, and also addresses evictions.

The motion was seconded by four members, including Councilmember Gil Cedillo who chairs the City’s Housing Committee.

“Today, my colleagues and I approved a resolution in support of Prop 10 because affordability in our City has become out of reach for many Angelenos,” said Cedillo. “As Chair of the Housing Committee, I have made changes to strengthen the current Rent Stabilization Ordinance to protect tenants, but we need to do more. We must repeal Costa-Hawkins and continue to expand protections for tenants in the great City of Angels.”

The average monthly rent in Los Angeles is about $1,370 for a one-bedroom and $1,760 for a two-bedroom, 40 percent higher than the rest of the country ($951 and $1,180 per month respectively) [Source: Apartment List].   It is estimated that over half the renters in the City of Los Angeles are rent burdened, meaning they spend over 30 percent of their income on rent.

There are approximately 631,000 units in 118,000 properties throughout the City of Los Angeles that fall under the RSO, including apartments, condos, co-ops, rooming houses, and hotels and motels.

It is estimated that more than 24,000 RSO units have been removed from the market since 2001.