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Rent Control in Los Angeles

September 05, 1988

Heskin hit the nail on the head when he writes that "the Los Angeles rent-stabilization ordinance is not doing its job and needs to be strengthened."

Two recent housing studies, one prepared for the City Council and the other by the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Committee on Affordable Housing, give a clearer picture as to what tenants are now facing. Rents have gone up 110% in the last eight years; over 300,000 L.A. households are now spending more than 50% of their income on housing; over one-fifth of households in this city are living in overcrowded conditions; 4,000 units with average monthly rents of $350 are being demolished annually; and, one-half of all the city's rent-controlled units have been increased to inflated market levels over the last three years due to vacancy decontrol.

While rent control does not produce new housing, it is the only mechanism for protecting the scarce supply of affordable housing that still exists. Unfortunately, L.A.'s rent-control law is filled with so many loopholes that it is failing to do its intended job of preserving our low-rent housing stock.

LARRY GROSS

Executive Director

Coalition for Economic Survival

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