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Los Angeles Wants to Legalize Hundreds of Illegal Apartments

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The Los Angeles City Council is going ahead with creating an ordinance that would legalize scads of illegal apartments throughout the city (the city turns up about 600 to 700 illegal units a year). They've asked the City Attorney to draft something up that would grant "amnesty" to the landlords of illegally converted living spaces that are in multi-family apartments buildings, giving owners a more feasible way to legalize those dwellings, says City News Service. In order to get the reprieve, landlords of the unapproved units would have to keep them affordable and livable, plus meet a handful of other terms.

Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, who first introduced the motion last year, says that the current rules for getting bootlegged units into compliance don't give owners enough time to bring the units up to code, and because of that, about 80 percent of tenants in units discovered by the city ended up being evicted.

LA's housing crunch is already extremely grim, and while there aren't enough illegal units to fix anything (about 2,560 were found between 2010 and 2015), they do provide a source of affordable housing for people who might otherwise struggle to find a place to live. (And it's not like LA can really afford to lose any housing units at all.) If adopted, the ordinance would apply to 594 illegal units in multi-family apartments complexes that have been converted from non-residential spaces, like rec rooms, and that have already received citations from the city. It would also apply to similar illegal units that haven't been found yet.
· L.A. City Council might give amnesty to owners of illegal residential units [CNS]
· LA Thinking About Legalizing a Lot of Its Illegal Apartments [Curbed LA]