L.A. County Approves Temporary Rent Stabilization Measure

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors passed a measure on Tuesday that will temporarily stabilize rents in the County. Photo: Courtesy.

Temporary three percent cap approved. 

By Sam Catanzaro

On Tuesday, September 11 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a temporary rent stabilization measure for unincorporated areas of L.A. County, setting a three percent annual cap on rents for the next six months. While this will not impact Venice renters and landlords, it will impact properties in the Marina del Rey which is part of unincorporated L.A.

County officials are hoping that the action taken Tuesday will help reduce the number of homeless individuals living on the street.

“Keeping residents in their homes is the best way to stem the tide of homelessness,” said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, “Too many families are only a paycheck away from being homeless. Today’s action will protect longtime, responsible rent-paying tenants from losing their homes because of uncontrolled rent hikes.”

In particular, County officials are hoping that the three percent rent stabilization measure will prevent seniors from getting evicted. The 2018 L.A. County Homeless Count found that a 22 percent increase in the number adults 62 or older who became homeless in the past year and a recent UCLA report stated that seniors are the most rent-burdened group of people in LA County.

“Many of our County families and seniors live month to month in fear of homelessness, knowing that their rents could rise significantly and quickly at any time,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion. “If we want to stem the tide of people falling into homelessness and be sure our seniors, as well as other renters, are protected from eviction, we have to curb unrestricted growth in rents.

The three percent annual cap has a base rent to be set as of September 11, 2018, and an estimated 200,000 renters will be protected by the measure. Studies indicate that rent stabilization benefits longtime tenants who tend to be older adults.

“Limiting rent increases cannot fully solve the housing crisis confronting much of urban California, but rent regulations are one tool to deal with sharp upticks in rent and have less deleterious effects than is often imagined, particularly if we are talking about moderate rent stabilization measures,” said Dr. Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.