COVID-19 Update: Key Action Taken in Council Meeting to Provide Relief

City Hall

Friends,

On Wednesday, my colleagues and I took even further action to assist Angelenos related to the COVID-19 pandemic in our city.

Here are some of the key items:

  • Right-of-Recall - Voted in support of a citywide proposed ordinance designed to assist those that have become unemployed as a result of COVID-19. This proposed ordinance allows employees with seniority to have first right of rehire, with five days to respond. Employers will be able to notify former employees through writing,  email and text messages when work is available again. Restaurants, coffee shops, bars, nightclubs, and wine bars not in hotels, sports arenas or airports will now be exempt from the ordinance because of my efforts to refine the legislation when it comes back for final approval.

  • Support for Immigrant and Undocumented People - Unanimously adopted by the City Council, this initiative outlines needs for folks that have been left out of federal stimulus assistance. Council President Martinez and I want to ensure that Los Angeles addresses the federal assistance gaps and resources for the undocumented and immigrant community.

  • Prohibiting RSO Rent Increases - City Council approved drafting of an ordinance that prohibits rent increases for 12 months after the COVID-19 Emergency Orders are lifted, for all Rent Stabilized Ordinance (RSO) units.

  • Emergency Housing for Hospital Workers and First Responders - Allows the City to contract with hotels, motels, and other lodging providers to provide space to house first responders exposed to COVID-19 in order to self-isolate.

I also introduced the following COVID-19 related legislation:

  • Rental Assistance in the 13th District - Introduced a motion that will assist renters struggling to pay rent due to COVID-19, and moves $1 million from my CD13 account (AB1290) into the City’s Emergency Rental Assistance Subsidy Program Fund for eligible renters in the 13th District.

  • Anti Price Gouging Law for Restaurant Food Delivery Apps - Introduced a motion requesting the City Attorney to draft an ordinance making it unlawful for a third-party food delivery service app (e.g. Grubhub, Doordash, etc.) to charge more than 15% of the purchase price in fees per online order for the use of its services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • Earth Day -  Introduced a motion requesting a report on incentives the City can offer businesses who continue to allow their employees to telecommute a certain percentage of their work schedule after the COVID-19 emergency order is lifted, along with measures we can take to mitigate pollution in historically underserved communities.

  • Enforcement of Illegal Hotels - Introduced a motion protecting tenants by instructing the City Attorney, the Housing, Community & Investment Department and the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to take further action against the owner of multiple rental properties for violating the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO) and Home Sharing Ordinance (HSO).

  • Suspending Costa-Hawkins - Introduced a resolution which supports the legislation or administrative action by the Governor, or State Legislature, that would suspend or lift the provisions of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act for the duration of the emergency to allow local governments to prohibit rent increases on all apartment rentals in the city. This follows up with my previous actions calling for reform to the state law.

  • Federal Assistance for Rent and Mortgage Forgiveness - Approved a resolution that calls on Congress to include rent and mortgage relief paired together in the next federal relief package, including extending forgiveness assistance to renters, property owners, and mortgage holders impacted by COVID-19. 

  • Supporting Small Independent Restaurants in the Next Federal Stimulus Bill - Requests Congress to extend the effectuation date for rehires in the Paycheck Protection Program to be within three months of legally being allowed to reopen for business.  This is essential, as social distancing standards for eating in restaurants are as yet to be established.   

These action items are needed to bring relief to all Angelenos adversely impacted by the effects of COVID-19. I look forward to continuing the work to ensure Los Angeles emerges from the pandemic on solid footing.

Please stay safe,

 

MITCH O’FARRELL