The city of Los Angeles should take actions to preserve expiring affordable housing covenants and support residents at risk of displacement due to expiring covenants, a council member said Friday.
Councilman Gil Cedillo introduced a motion that would also seek to identify the resources needed to implement the preservations, and prioritize a preservation program with an identified funding source.
“Recent efforts to assist and protect at-risk residents at properties like Hillside Villa Apartments, Grandview Apartments and Grand Plaza Apartments in my district were symptomatic of a much larger issue that must be addressed at a citywide level,” Cedillo said.
The motion identifies one possible source of preservation as the city’s new linkage fee, for which an expenditure plan is still being developed. Developers will pay a fee for every square foot of new construction, generating an estimated $100 million per year to be used to provide affordable housing units.
Regulatory covenants are recorded on a property to ensure the long-term affordability of units, often in return for a public subsidy or density bonus, but many covenants are now reaching an expiration date, which would effectively remove affordability requirements and allow an owner to raise rents to market-rate, according to Cedillo’s office.
City data indicates that from the period of July 2016 through December 2021, Cedillo’s Council District 1 is at risk of losing 1,839 affordable units while the city risks the loss of 11,412 units within that same period.
“Dealing with expiring affordable covenants and resulting tenant displacement on a case-by-case basis is like scooping water from a sinking ship and not addressing the crack in the hull — it simply doesn’t do enough,” Cedillo said. “We are resolving to do what’s necessary to keep families in their homes. We’re all on the same boat here.”
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