Published : Saturday, April 20, 2019 | 4:38 AM
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted to extend an ordinance that prohibits landlords from raising rents more than 3 percent in the county’s unincorporated areas, including Altadena, East Pasadena and San Gabriel.
By a vote of 4-1, the Board of Supervisors decided last week that the measure, the Temporary Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which went into effect on December 20, 2018, will remain in force until December 31, 2019, when it is hoped a permanent ordinance would have been enacted.
The ordinance, which was originally set to expire on June 18, established limits on rent increases and extended eviction protections by requiring “just cause” before eviction.
“Many people in Los Angeles County are having difficulties just accessing housing,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who backed the ordinance and its extension, said. “One of the reasons has been the rapidly escalating rents, which in many, many of our areas have no stabilization ordinances, no limitations at all.”
Before the vote, a large group of housing advocates held a rally outside the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, and dozens of them spoke before the Board to tell about their experiences as renters.
Representatives of realtors and property owners who opposed the extension spoke out against the changes, saying the area’s rising housing costs can best be explained by scarcity, not predatory landlords or owners.
“We need to focus on the development of new homes at all income levels and not price-control policies that remove the incentive to build more housing and cause landlords to neglect maintenance and repair,” Armando Flores, legislative affairs director for the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, said.
The vote last week included instructions to county public works and planning officials to assess conditions of the rental stock in the unincorporated areas, focusing on a possible code enforcement program to improve rental housing conditions.
The Board also expressed a desire to work with community groups and county departments to notify renters and property owners about policy changes on social media.