LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Gil Cedillo joined over 150 low-income renters and advocates on April 20, 2016 at City Hall in honor of the 3rd annual Renters Day. Following the rally, members of the Housing Committee, Chaired by Councilmember Cedillo, heard testimony from housing experts, including impacted tenants, who described in detail the impact that rising rents and the threat of evictions are having on their families and neighborhoods across LA.

More than 60% of Angelinos are renters, with the average renter paying nearly 47% of their income towards rent. For the poorest housed families, nearly 80% are severely rent burdened paying over half of their income towards rent. “My landlord increased my family’s rent by $1,000 to $2,300 a month in rent.  We only bring in $1,500 a month. We can’t pay this and it’s going to force us out of our neighborhood – further away from work and where we leave our children for babysitting,” said Rosa Godoy, a member of Inquilinos Unidos, an organizational member of Renters Day LA Coalition.

The hearing also featured representatives from the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) as they presented their recommendations on how to strengthen enforcement and eliminate other loopholes that result in the loss of RSO units under the Ellis Act. More than 13,000 units alone have been lost since 2010.  The Renters’ Day Coalition has been pushing for new, bold regulations on demolitions and conversions and continued enforcement of current regulations to the fullest extent allowed under the law and views this as a key strategy in keeping people housed and preserving affordability.

“Developers, property-flippers and landlords all over LA are using the Ellis Act to remove thousands of affordable apartments from rent stabilization. My neighbors and I, some who have lived in our apartments more than 20 years, are recent victims of this trend.  The City’s laws must be revised to ensure more seniors and families are not pushed into the street,” says Walt Senterfitt of the LA Tenants Union.

Three years ago the Renters’ Day LA movement sought to establish an annual call to action, to city councilmembers and renters alike, utilizing Renters’ Day as an annual marker of progress in the implementation of legislative solutions to the city’s housing crisis. The Renters’ Day Coalition celebrated two victories last month when Council unanimously passed an enhanced repairs pilot program that will take bold steps to prevent the continued deterioration of rent-stabilized housing, and the establishment of a rent registry program for rent stabilized (RSO) units, which will require the annual registration of rents for all RSO units.  Both initiatives were supported and led by Councilmember Cedillo and are part of a comprehensive set of policies proposed by the Renter’s Day Coalition aimed at protecting the city’s housing stock that reaches the deepest affordability for low-income earners.