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LA Thinking About Legalizing a Lot of Its Illegal Apartments

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[Image via Michael Locke]

Every year in Los Angeles, regular city inspections turn up 600 to 700 unpermitted apartments. Usually when the city discovers a bootleg apartment, its tenants are evicted and the unit is removed, but now landlords and tenants are working together on a plan to take them legit instead (provided they can comply with safety codes and meet other rules that are still being outlined), says the LA Times. The surprising union of landlords and tenants is backing the possible amnesty because both feel these units are a rare opportunity to create some desperately-needed affordable housing, and would rather see people stay in their homes than get evicted from a "decent" housing situation. (Of course not all illegal housing situations are "decent" or even "not horrifying.") The director of the Inner City Law Center calls the plan "a potential win-win," but not everyone's pumped, of course. Some residents are worried about what would happen to parking if illegal units were given amnesty, which seems like a strange concern when they have likely been living with illegal apartments in their neighborhoods already. "If you follow this lawless path, you'd very quickly see the quality of life deteriorate for residents in lawful, permitted apartments," a rep for a Westwood Community Council grumps.
· Landlords, tenants unite on amnesty plan for illegal apartments [LAT]