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Friday’s Vote on Rent Increase Moratorium

Byline: Rebecca Rona-Tuttle

If you live anywhere in Los Angeles, you can assist hundreds of thousands of low-income people who live in rent-controlled apartments to avoid rent increases. Contact your city councilmember! The need is urgent!

“We need immediate action to protect tenants from unfair rent increases!” Chris Gabriele, executive director of People Organized for Westside Renewal (POWER), told Liberty Hill.  “The LA City Council will vote this Friday, May 7.” So far, only three city councilmen are on record as supporting a proposed moratorium on rent increases: Herb Wesson, Richard Alarcon and Ed Reyes.

Affordable housing activists are asking LA residents to do any or all of the following:  phone or e-mail their own city councilmember, contact more than one city councilmember, regardless of district, and attend the city council meeting Friday at 10 a.m., LA City Hall, 200 N. Spring St., LA CA 90012, 3rd Floor. “Show your support of affordable housing!” Gabriele urged.

Click here for a list of city councilmembers and their contact information.

The council’s Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee voted Wednesday 3-1 in favor of a moratorium that would bar owners from raising the rents on 630,000 units of rent-controlled housing. Otherwise, rents will increase July 1, some by as much as five percent.

That’s 630,000 apartments, and conceivably more than a million low-income individuals who are struggling mightily during our economic downturn and need their remaining dollars for food and medicine here in L.A., the nation’s housing UN-affordability capital.

Councilman Herb Wesson favors the moratorium in part because it would give the city council time to consider various proposals, such as one to tie any future rent increases to the inflation rate. Meanwhile, the fight between rent control advocates and landlords is heating up. Read details in today’s LA Times.

Two of the organizations broadcasting an urgent call for action are POWER and Coalition for Economic Survival (CES), each supported for many years by Liberty Hill.

Seniors surviving on Social Security payments, single moms who have lost their jobs and folks who simply don’t earn much will be grateful for your support.

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