What else can I say, but “here we go again…” A few City of Los Angeles Councilmembers had proposed to further delay the resumption of annual rent increases on rent-controlled units in the City by six months. Since March 2020, for about 3 and a half years and counting, the City of Los Angeles has banned rent hikes under so-called “temporary” and “emergency” measures related to the pandemic. Yet, despite everything and anything being “open for business,” City Councilmember and declared Socialist Democrat, Hugo Soto-Martinez, had introduced a motion to push the February 1, 2024, “freeze” expiration date back to August 1, 2024. The motion was seconded by Councilmember and fellow Democratic Socialist Party member, Eunisses Hernandez. Fortunately, the motion did not make it out of the City’s Housing Committee, but the audacity of the proposal is clear.
However, what did get pushed through the Housing Committee was a proposal championed by “comrade” Soto-Martinez to lower the current maximum rent limitation of 8% to just 4%, a 50% reduction – the proposal was made and passed by the committee without any call for a study of the impacts this may have on housing providers who are struggling today to survive under skyrocketing costs and no rent increases.