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Eagle Rock tenants don’t stand a chance against rent increase

rent_control_logoLiving in city-owned rent controlled units doesn’t exempt you from massive rent increases. The Eastsider LA is reporting a city owned housing complex in Eagle Rock, is increasing rent over the 3% annual limit imposed by the city of Los Angeles Rent Stabilization Ordinance.  Rent is able to be doubled since the owner doesn’t have tenants receiving housing vouchers.

A group of residents at Reflections on Yosemite — a residence for seniors and the disabled in the 1500 block of Yosemite Drive — are fighting the city over such a 6% hike. The increase is double the percentage of what the city has typically raised rents, Tina Smith-Booth from the L.A. Housing Authority told the Daily News.

The property doesn’t receive any federal or other assistance and therefore must operate on the rents it collects. … As with most landlords, rents are periodically increased to stay in line with increases in operating expenses.“
— Tina Smith-Booth, a director at Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles.

But Smith-Boom added the city needs to keep up with market rents in the surrounding area. She said the average rent for a one-bedroom unit at Reflections is $747, whereas area rents for one-bedrooms in Eagle Rock are $1,375.

However the city’s rent stabilization ordinance explicitly exempts authority owned properties from the ordinance if Section 8 vouchers are not used by its tenants:

5. Housing accommodations owned and operated by the Los Angeles City Housing Authority, or which a government unit, agency or authority owns, operates, or manages and which are specifically exempted from municipal rent regulation by state or federal law or administrative regulation, or housing accommodations specifically exempted from municipal rent regulation by state or federal law or administrative regulation. This exception shall not apply once the government ownership, operation, management, regulation or rental assistance is discontinued. This exception shall not apply to rental units for which rental assistance is paid pursuant to the Housing Choice Voucher Program codified at 24 CFR part 982, and those units are subject to the provisions of this article to the fullest extent allowed by law. (Amended by Ord. No. 177,587, Eff. 7/5/06.)

This article caught 2 Urban Girls attention because The Eastsider LA didn’t clearly explain why the dramatic increase was allowable.  Now we know why rent in the projects won’t be increasing anytime soon.

Tenants can appeal to the Rent Adjustment Commission members who are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

  • Sam E. Lucas, Chariperson
  • Carole Brogdon, Vice Chairperson
  • Leonora Gershman Pitts, Commissioner
  • Paula Leftwich, Commissioner
  • Jane Paul, Commissioner
  • Dash Stolarz, Commissioner

**update**

According to the Daily Breeze, the Housing Authority has backed off of plans to raise the rent 6% and will instead only be raising it by 3% as the rent stabilization ordinance dictates.



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