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How Permanent Tenant Protections Can Help Prevent Homelessness and Displacement in LA County

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June 10, 2019

A new report by Public Counsel and UCLA School of Law Community Economic Development Clinic examines the housing crisis in unincorporated Los Angeles County where until recently there were virtually no protections for hundreds of thousands of renters. The report highlights the human costs of rising rents, and documents the shocking number of renters who live in a constant state of insecurity.

For example, the report found:

  • 56% of tenants in unincorporated LA County are “rent burdened,” meaning they pay more than 30% of their income to rent
  • Nearly one-third are “severely rent burdened,” paying more than half their income to rent
  • These rates are among the highest in the nation
  • Over the past eight years, there have been more than half a million eviction lawsuits filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court system

The report makes the case for enacting permanent rent control in unincorporated LA County as an immediate tool to stabilize families and communities. The report additionally provides a comprehensive set of policy recommendations – such as eliminating no cause evictions, and guaranteeing a right to counsel for tenants in eviction proceedings – in order prevent homelessness and displacement.

The report was produced in collaboration with Eastside LEADS and the Unincorporated Tenants United Coalition with support from Liberty Hill.