Apr 252017
 

Mayor Garcetti Protects Affordable Housing

 

Mayor Garcetti continues to tackle housing crisis with new law strengthening Rent Stabilization Ordinance

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to aggressively address Los Angeles’s housing affordability crisis with a new law that strengthens enforcement of the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). The new legislation will preserve rent-stabilized units or require that new affordable housing units be built.

Landlords who tear down rent-controlled units under the state’s Ellis Act must now either replace them one-for-one with affordable units or ensure that 20% of new units are affordable — whichever number is higher.

This new law will also help prevent displacement of tenants by increasing regulation of both vacant and occupied rental units; requiring owners to re-start the Ellis process if withdrawn units are re-rented; tightening rules when units are demolished without necessary approvals; and requiring property owners to file annual reports.

It also expands relocation services for displaced tenants, and preserves RSO units by raising the threshold necessary to obtain an exemption for newly-built replacement units.

“We’re growing L.A.’s housing stock to meet our resident’s growing demand in every way possible — including strengthening our stock of rent stabilized housing. But we need to make sure that it is done in a way that’s fair to all Angelenos by protecting people from being priced out of communities where they have invested so much of their lives,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The law I signed today is a great step in the right direction.”

“As Chair of Housing, I’d like to thank Mayor Garcetti for his commitment to protect tenant rights and affordable housing,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “The City Council approved my Ellis Act amendments to the RSO, which will close loopholes used to evict tenants and remove affordable housing units off the market. By preserving affordable housing, we will ensure that Los Angeles is a livable City.”

“One of our goals, as elected leaders, must be addressing the loss of existing affordable housing to new, unaffordable development, and these amendments take an important step in that direction,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“Preserving affordable housing is how we preserve the character and inclusivity of our neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Strengthening our rent control rules to better protect affordable housing is good for families throughout Los Angeles.”

“The City of Los Angeles must do everything in its power to protect our rent-controlled affordable housing stock,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “With every lost RSO unit, our friends, families and neighbors are potentially displaced and priced out of a difficult housing market. By strengthening these Ellis Act restrictions and RSO requirements, we are taking an important step forward in protecting Angelenos.”

Half of L.A. families live in an apartment covered by the RSO, which is designed to protect Angelenos from runaway rents and displacement from their neighborhoods.

In December 2015, Mayor Garcetti signed into law the Tenant Buyout Ordinance, which strengthened renters’ rights by ensuring that landlords inform residents of their relocation rights in the event of a tenant buyout. Previously, tenants could be offered a lump sum to vacate units, without a formal process to educate them about additional sums for relocation assistance to which they may have been entitled.

The ordinance required landlords to file buyout agreements with the City, so that staff can better monitor the process. It also permits renters to withdraw from the buyout agreement within 30 days.

While the City remains on track to meet Mayor Garcetti’s goal to build 100,000 new housing units by 2021, the Mayor is advancing additional policies to ensure equitable growth in the City’s housing supply, and is doubling down on the production and preservation of affordable housing developments dedicated to low-income Angelenos.

 

 

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Apr 032017
 

North Carolina Against LGBTQ Rights

North Carolina repealed the HB 2, better known as the “bathroom bill”, last week. The repeal is seen as an attack on the LGBTQ community because it denies transgender people the use of restrooms, changing rooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity.

Making matters even worse for the LGBTQ community, the HB 2 has been replaced by a new law which takes away from them anti-discrimination protections, including employment and housing. North Carolina’s LGBTQ community has been hit hard. Their plight however is beginning to attract support. Among notable supporters is the NCAA men’s basketball championship which has already relocated all regional games – which were to take place in North Carolina – elsewhere.

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, expressed his support for the North Carolina’s LGBTQ community by calling on L.A. city officials headed to North Carolina on non-essential business to boycott the state that officially withdrew its recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights and their need for anti-discrimination protections.

“Every American deserves to live free of discrimination, and the law signed last week by Governor Cooper does nothing to protect the rights and dignity of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Cities should have every opportunity to make policies that affirm values of equal justice, protect people from hate and bias, and uphold the Constitutional right to self-determination. Until that is made real in North Carolina, I urge the City Council to extend L.A.’s ban on non-essential travel to the state by City employees. I would sign that ban right away, and will continue doing everything in my power to make sure that Angelenos’ tax dollars are never spent to support bigotry based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti

It is hard to comprehend that in the 21st Century – and with about 20% of the millennials identifying themselves as members of the LGBTQ community! – anyone would question the need for non-discrimination or civil rights’ protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Sexual orientation or gender identity is an inherent part of personal freedom and human rights. Not supporting the rights of this historically disadvantaged community is absurd. ALL law-abiding and tax-paying U.S. citizens are entitled to rights that keep them safe and free to live as they choose. Anything LA Liberal Magazine says: Live And Let Live!

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Sep 122016
 

metro

Gov. Brown’s recent signing of Assembly Bill 2690, by State Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, creates new opportunities for small and disabled veteran businesses to compete for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) construction contracts.

The new law will help level the playing field for such firms, a move that will bolster their participation in the agency’s multi-billion dollar contracting opportunities every year.

Metro is now authorized to require bidders to include subcontracting opportunities for small and disabled veteran business enterprises as a condition of award on non-federally funded construction-related “Public Works” projects. Specifically, Metro will only award contracts to the lowest responsible bidder meeting the agency’s Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) participation goals. Bidders that fail to meet the SBE/DVBE goals will be ineligible to receive a contract. Prior to the passing of the law, such goals were voluntary on construction-related contracts.

Additionally, the law authorizes Metro to set-aside contracts ranging from $5,000 to $3 million for competition only among Metro-certified SBE firms, and can award contracts to the lowest responsible bidder. Metro-certified SBE firms can now compete among similar-sized firms and win Public Works contracts such as construction, demolition, or repair work as prime contractors on low bid contracts. The law goes into effect January 1, 2017.

“This new law enables Metro to expand the range of tools to encourage the small business community to contract with Metro,” said John Fasana, Duarte City Council Member and Metro Board Chair. “We typically issue between $2 billion and $5 billion in contracts a year, so this new legislation is essential to our agency’s future procurement strategy as we seek to increase small business competition. I’d like to thank Assembly Member Ridley-Thomas and the Metro Board for advocating for this important piece of legislation.”

In January 2014, the Metro Board approved an agency-wide Small Business Set-Aside Program. Now completing its second official year of operation, Metro’s “Small Business Prime Program” awards have increased 74 percent from $9.6 million in fiscal year 2015 to $16.7 million in fiscal year 2016. A record $9 million in Small Business Enterprise prime contracts were awarded in the fourth quarter alone.

“Metro is now leading an infrastructure revolution here in Los Angeles County. We want to make sure that we can provide the best contracting opportunities possible for our small business community,” said Phil Washington, Metro CEO. “Working together, all of us can help transform the transportation system in our region.”

Metro is the largest transportation agency in California. The agency is responsible for programming transportation funds, planning, construction and operation of the county’s transportation system.

The new law is a welcome news for Metro-certified L.A. Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Los Angeles Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) who will now have better chances at bidding for – and landing! – L.A. Metro’s contracting projects.

For more information about Metro’s Small Business Set-Aside Program, visit Metro’s Vendor Portal webpage at www.metro.net/business.