Stay Housed Program Steps Up For Tenant Protections, First Lawsuits Filed
The Stay Housed L.A. Program, which was launched in 2020 to connect tenants with community organizations and legal service providers, has since been featured by the White House as a national model for eviction prevention. Stay Housed L.A. is a collaboration between Liberty Hill, 15 community-based organizations, 10 legal service providers, the L.A. County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) and the City of Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD). Since its inception, Stay Housed L.A. has provided critical educational resources to more than 300,000 tenants, helping them better understand their rights and legal protections. Coalition members have contacted hundreds of thousands of vulnerable tenants via phone and text banks, hosted more than 300 workshops and served more than 10,000 tenant households with legal assessments or services.
Recently, in a bid to ramp up public education in the midst of shifting local and state eviction prevention laws, expiring tenant protections, and general confusion and misinformation, Stay Housed L.A. held three major press conferences in partnership with local elected officials such as Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, City Councilmembers Kevin DeLeon, Curren Price, and Nithya Raman and community partner organizations such as ACCE, SAJE, Public Counsel, and others.
And now, with a new Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance (TAHO) taking effect in L.A. City and L.A. County, renters have new protections against harassment by their landlords and legal service providers can file suit against unscrupulous landlords who break the law by harassing tenants. Three Stay Housed L.A. legal service providers recently filed three lawsuits in response to illegal tenant harassment.
Advocacy groups that provide educational and legal support to renters across the county have seen an uptick in tenant harassment complaints, such as landlords conducting construction at all hours of the night or refusing to turn on the water or address roach infestations. Reports of harassment like this have almost doubled in the last few months via the Stay Housed L.A. program.
The filing of the three cases is meant to raise awareness about the anti-harassment protections that are in place and discourage landlords from illegally trying to remove tenants.
“To prevent homelessness and keep renters safely in their homes, tenants need to understand their rights and have access to peer advocates and attorneys to best exercise those rights,” said Jenny Delwood, Executive Vice President of the Liberty Hill Foundation. “Regardless of their ability to pay, tenants have legal rights, including the right to live in their homes free from harassment by their landlords.”
Visitors to stayhousedla.org can learn about their rights, sign up for workshops to be connected with a tenant rights organization. If you or someone you know has received an eviction notice, visit stayhousedla.org to fill out a legal referral form.