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October 13, 2010

CES Debates Rent Control Changes
at Park La Brea Forum


CES Executive Director Larry Gross (right) indicates that rent increases are too high due to the rent increase floor as (left to right) Park La Brea’s General Manager Ron Bowdoin and Los Angeles City Council Member Tom LaBonge look on.

On the evening of October 13, 2010 tenants residing at the mammoth Park La Brea Apartment complex streamed in its activities auditorium to hear a discussion regarding proposed changes to L.A.'s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). Park La Brea, located in L.A.'s mid-Wilshire district, is the largest apartment complex west of the Mississippi River, housing some 10,000 people in 4,200 rental units.

Larry Gross Executive Director of Coalition for Economic Survival (CES), joined 4th District Los Angeles City Council Member Tom LaBonge and Ron Bowdoin, Park La Brea's General Manager on a panel which addressed the proposed changes to the rent control law that is currently before the L.A. City Council.

Park La Brea tenants raised objections to the additional 1-2% utility rate rent increases allowed annually to master metered buildings such as Park La Brea. Tenants, many who are seniors on fixed incomes, also questioned why rents are allowed to be raised 3-5% when they are not receiving cost of living increases to their Social Security.

CES' Larry Gross responded by urging tenants to join with CES and allied tenant groups in the campaign to convince City Council members to support the elimination of the 3% rent increase floor and the additional utility rent increases, as well as changes to capital improvement and renovation pass thoughs that could result in additional rent increase to tenants.

Gross stated, "If there was no rent increase floor, as is the case with every other rent control law in the state, there would have been no rent increases this year because the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was less than zero."

The forum was held by the Park La Brea Residents Association (PLBRA). Jason Green, PLBRA's President, who moderated the panel, called the presentations, "lively."


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