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April 15, 2010

LA Council Member Richard Alarcón Introduces Motion to Freeze Rent Increases for One Year


Council Member Richard Alarcón explains his motion for a one year rent increase moratorium.
Recognizing the slow response from the LA City Council to act on recommendations to strengthen the City's Rent Control law, Council Member Richard Alarcón, with the full support of CES and other tenants' rights organizations, introduced a motion calling for a one year moratorium on all annual rent increases on apartments subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO).

The City-sponsored “Economic Study of the Rent Stabilization Ordinance and the Los Angeles Housing Market” (RSO Study) was released in June 2009. This study includes recommendations relative to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), including calling for the elimination of the 3% “floor” on rental increases allowed by the RSO based on the Consumer Price and elimination of the additional 1% rent increase allowed for each utility (gas or electricity) where it's included in the rent.

The current CPI rate for 2010 is -.62 %, which means that renters will face unjustified rent increase of 3%, due to the "floor" beginning July 1, 2010.

The study showed that the utility increases allowed in the RSO bears no relationship to the actual cost to landlords, thus providing landlords with a significant windfall at tenants' expense.

CES Executive Director Larry Gross states the reasons why the moratorium on rent increases should be passed now.

The moratorium will allow the City Council to decide on the recommendations without burdening tenants with additional unjust rent increase while they deliberate.

Other cities that base their rent control increases on the CPI, such as San Francisco, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Berkeley and Oakland do not have a floor.

Council Member Alarcón asked tenants groups to join him as a news conference on April 14, where he announced that he would be introducing the moratorium to the City Council that day. In addition to CES, other participating groups were LA CAN, Comunidad Presente, Union de Vecinos, ACCE, Inquilinos Unidos, POWER and Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.

Click here to read the actual Rent Increase Moratorium introduced by City Council Member Richard Alarcón and seconded by City Council Members Bill Rosendahl and Jose Huizar.

Click to Check out some of the newspaper coverage of the news conference.

Los Angeles Times - L.A. Councilman Calls For One Year Moratorium On Rent Hikes
Los Angeles Daily News - City Councilman Richard Alarcón wants a freeze on rent increases
Los Angeles Business Journal - Moratorium Proposed on Hikes for Rent-Controlled Units

Your Help Needed Now

CES organizers and tenant leaders (left to right: Lourdes Soto, Felipa Soto, Joel Montano, Alisha Williamson & Rosa Nealy) attend the news conference.

It is great news that Council Member Alarcón introduced the rent increase moratorium, but it will be meaningless if the City Council doesn’t pass it. Landlord groups and their lobbyists will be doing everything they can to stop it.

We need you to act right NOW and count the City Members to urge them to support Council Member Alarcón’s rent increase moratorium.

Click here for all the contact information to make the needed calls, emails and letters.

CES Lead Organizer Carlos Aguilar gives an interview.

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