But, the Campaign to Win Restrictions on Condo Conversions & Rental Housing Demolitions Continues.................................
WHAT WE WON!
After another 2 hours of public testimony and City Council debate the City Council finally adopted an increase in tenants relocation benefits and a number of other proposals to attempt to deal the condo conversions and demolitions sweeping across our city, displacing a mass number of tenants from their homes.
While we believe this big increase relocation will benefit tenants, it is still not enough and clearly must not be seen as the end all answer. We still need the City Council to concretely restriction condo conversions, curb demolitions and stop the evictions. Nevertheless, we achieved a significant number of victories, yesterday.
Here is what we were able to get changed:
- The tenancy requirements, to receive the higher relocation amounts, was lowered to 3 years from 5 years.
- The means testing to determine whether a low-income tenants meets the financial criteria to receive the high relocation amounts will not be effective until the LA Housing Department has established it administrative procedures to oversee the means testing. Until that time all low income tenants will receive the higher relocation amounts.
- The means testing provision will sunset after one year unless the City Council votes to extend it. If the provision sunsets they will be no means testing, nor tenancy requirements, thus all tenants will receive the higher relocation amounts.
- The effective date to receive the higher relocation assistance is April 11, 2007. The means that every tenant that receives an eviction notice dated from yesterday on gets the higher amounts.
The new fee structure is:
--$6,810 to tenants who have lived in their apartments less than three years (or $14,850 for those who are older, disabled or have minor children).
--$9,040 to tenants who have lived in their apartments more than three years (or $17,080 for those older, disabled or with minor children).
--From $9,040 to $17,080 to tenants whose income is 80% or below the area's median income--$55,450 for a family of four, regardless of the length of tenancy.
Also in the report adopted by the City Council are proposals to do the following:
= Requires building owners to provide relocation assistance payments to tenants who voluntarily move out of a unit proposed for condominium conversion. Tenants who voluntarily move after approval of the map and before notice of termination are entitled to relocation assistance,
= Establishes landlord fees for the purpose of providing relocation assistance by the City's Relocation Assistance Service Provider.
= Provides for an increase in the Rental Housing Production Fee from $500 to $1,492.
= Establishes a compliance monitoring program to monitor compliance with tenant relocation assistance requirements when buildings are demolished.
= Provides for a fee of $186 per rental unit for resolution of income disputes.
In Addition the City Council Voted to:
INSTRUCT the City Attorney's office, in coordination with the Planning Department and the Department of Building and Safety, to draft an Ordinance within 45 days allowing the Department of Building and Safety the ability to deny a demolition permit if: (a) the vacancy rate is less than five percent; and (b) the cumulative effect on the rental market is significant.
INSTRUCT the Planning Department and the LAHD to utilize the actual cost of replacing a unit and other key factors as a basis for formulating a revised Rental Housing Production Fee Increase as part of a nexus study; and to report back to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee in 45 days with findings and recommendations. The report back should include the anticipated impact of the fees, and an analysis on what other cities have done.
INSTRUCT the Planning Department, Advisory Agency, to adopt a new department procedure for implementation relative to the Findings on Vacancy Rate and Cumulative Impacts, pursuant to LAMC Section 12.95.2(f) and revised application procedures for residential condominium conversions (as shown on both Attachments A and B of this joint Committee report); and report back to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee on its plan to enforce the new procedure.
INSTRUCT the Planning Department, Advisory Agency, to report back in 60 days to the Planning and Land Use Management and Housing, Community and Economic Development Committees on recommendations from the economic study for implementation of a long-term approach, pursuant to LAMC Section 12.95.2(f) with respect to condominium conversions and demolition/new condominium construction cases.
INSTRUCT the Planning Department, Advisory Agency, to prepare and post on its website a bi-weekly listing of approvals and denials on condominium conversions and demolition applications.
INSTRUCT the Planning Department to invite representatives of jurisdictions which have enacted an annual cap on the number of permissible condominium conversions to participate on the suggested panel of experts. The expert panel shall address the ramifications of creating an annual cap on not only condominium conversions but also demolitions.
INSTRUCT the Planning Department, LAHD, and City Attorney to report back in two weeks to the Planning and Land Use Management and Housing, Community and Economic Development Committees on the status of a previous August, 2006, request on the feasibility of amending the LAMC to require applicants to provide long-term lease guarantees.
INSTRUCT the Planning Department, LAHD, and City Attorney to summarize the various policy directives related to addressing condominium conversions, demolitions and new constructions, and milestones and timelines; and to provide weekly status updates to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee.
INSTRUCT the Housing Department to report back to the Planning and Land Use Management and Housing, Community and Economic Development Committees' with any policy changes or required changes to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance regarding discrimination matters.
YOUR ACTION STILL NEEDED!!!
We must make sure the City Council knows that their job is not complete. While increasing relocation assistance may ease some pain, it does not cure the disease -- that of the widespread destruction of affordable housing and the mass displacement of tenants.
Continue to contact LA City Council Members and urge that they quickly move to develop and adopt measures to restrict condo conversion and demolitions.
Write & Mail to:
LA City Councilmember ___________________
LA City Hall - Room ______________________
200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Email & Call:
Los Angeles City Council Members