City text messaging program will answer rent control questions

Following the defeat of Prop 10, LA and other municipalities have been trying to create initiatives to protect tenants from rising rents

HCIDLA General Manager Rushmore Cervantes
HCIDLA General Manager Rushmore Cervantes

Los Angeles’ ever-dwindling supply of rent-regulated buildings make it difficult for tenants to know whether their apartment qualifies for the protections. And following the defeat of Proposition 10 last November, there is still no statewide rent control law, though another affordability referendum may make its way to the statewide 2020 ballot.

In recent months, L.A. city and county officials and some surrounding municipalities have been trying to create initiatives to protect more tenants from rising rents.

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Now, the L.A. Housing and Community Investment Department has unveiled a text messaging program that to help tenants determine whether they qualify under the Rent Stabilization Ordinance, according to MyNewsLA. Renters send their street address and ZIP code, and they will receive a reply.

According to the city ordinance, apartments can be subject to rent control protections if the property was built on or before October 1978. Other newer apartments built after July 2007 could be protected as well if they replaced rent-stabilized units.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the same activist organization that backed Prop 10, is already campaigning for an initiative that would allow any residential property built after 2005 to qualify for rent control. [My News LA]Natalie Hoberman