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LA City Council Moves Rent Freeze Forward

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The City Council’s Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee voted 3-1 to bar owners of rent-controlled buildings from raising rents for four months, reports the Los Angeles Times. If the full council backs the move, the moratorium begins July 1--and could be extended until December 31. Renters groups say the freeze is necessary because people in rent-controlled buildings, defined as properties with at least two units built before 1978, could see their rent go up by 3% during in a year where inflation was less than zero and unemployment remains over 10% (large buildings where owners pay for the utilities could see rents raised by 5%). Landlords are unsurprisingly pissed, saying the moratorium would make it difficult for them to pay for repairs and upkeep, and also devalue their properties. Also of concern is that the rent freeze would kick in the same day that DWP imposes a 4.8% electricity rate hike. [Image of old-timey Gaylord apartments by LA Wad via Flickr]
· Four Month Freeze Proposed By Council [LA Times]