LOS ANGELES (KABC) — As Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and the City Council focus on ending homelessness, the city’s moratorium on evictions expires in 20 days, and some council members and residents are concerned the homelessness crisis could be worsened.
“We have a pipeline of homelessness evictions that we need to end. We have to cut back. We cannot allow this pipeline to continue to be inundated by people in our communities,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez.
Renters make up the majority of Los Angeles residents. Once the COVID-19 eviction moratorium expires, tenants have until August 1 of this year to pay back the rent they missed between March 2020 and September 2021. Then they have until February 2024 to pay what was missed October 2021 to February 2023.
The tenants were joined by city council members Wednesday to call for the council’s passport protections, which don’t allow someone to be evicted if they’re a day late or a dollar short, and ensure a tenant has funds for receives the move when faced with an unreasonable rent increase.
“Landlords have tremendous power over tenants. When we talk about housing, it’s not just about having a roof over your head, it’s about the kind of equity and bargaining power that these tenants have over landlords. The dynamics of power were never meant to be like this. That’s why we have a homelessness crisis here in the city of Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles City Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez.
While Mayor Bass’s Inside Safe program is clearing camps and moving homeless people to hotels, new camps are popping up every day.
There’s one in front of a now-vacant Rite Aid on Glendale Boulevard and Alvarado Street in Echo Park, which is near a tiny residential village in the Soto-Martinez neighborhood.
“We really need to align with the mayor’s vision of Inside Safe and appeal to all the different camps in the city. We know camps will pop up until we give people real housing solutions because it remixes people in the city,” Soto-Martinez said.
City Council President Paul Krekorian appears ready to vote on proposed tenant protection in the next 20 days – even if the moratorium expires. The moratorium does not currently have the votes to be extended.
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