PRESS RELEASE: Councilmember Ryu Calls on Mayor and Governor to Enact Immediate Rent & Utility Freeze

LOS ANGELES - With news that future City Council meetings are cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Councilmember David Ryu asked Mayor Garcetti today to adopt and enact his legislation to freeze all rent and utility bill increases from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Furthermore, Councilmember Ryu asked California Governor Gavin Newsom to immediately suspend all rent and mortgage payments in the State of California, among other measures, while the state grapples with the economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

March 23, 2020

 

Contact for Councilmember Ryu:

Mark Pampanin

mark.pampanin@lacity.org

213.407.7616

 

Councilmember Ryu Calls on Mayor and Governor to Enact Immediate Rent & Utility Freeze

 

LOS ANGELES - With news that future City Council meetings are cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Councilmember David Ryu asked Mayor Garcetti today to adopt and enact his legislation to freeze all rent and utility bill increases from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Furthermore, Councilmember Ryu asked California Governor Gavin Newsom to immediately suspend all rent and mortgage payments in the State of California, among other measures, while the state grapples with the economic fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“We are in a crisis, and not just in public health,” Councilmember Ryu said “People are out of work and looking down the barrel of a rent or mortgage payment with fear and uncertainty, and our City and State must take immediate action to protect them. As someone who grew up living paycheck to paycheck in a Los Angeles apartment, I know how tough it is to make ends meet even in good times. Protecting California’s economy means protecting the working people that make it run, and that means suspending rent and mortgage payments.”

On Saturday, Councilmember Ryu announced he would be introducing legislation to freeze rent increases on residential and commercial tenants, as well as a freeze on all LADWP utility bill increases and a moratorium on any late fees or other fees incurred from non-payment for 12 months following the Coronavirus emergency order. Councilmember Ryu is eager to see the next Council meeting scheduled as soon as possible while maintaining the health requirements directed by public health officials. With Council out of session for the time being, only Mayor Garcetti can move these priorities forward.

“Angelenos are depending on us to protect them with urgency, and we must meet as soon as possible to carry on this important work,” Councilmember Ryu added. “I applaud Mayor Garcetti and Governor Newsom for their leadership during this crisis to protect our first responders, working families, and small businesses.”

A suspension of all rent payments and mortgages, however, requires State action. That is why Councilmember Ryu wrote a second letter to California Governor Gavin Newsom, calling on him to work with banks to suspend and mortgage rent payments as quickly as possible. His letter to Governor Newsom also calls for a prohibition on utility shut-offs, a moratorium on evictions, foreclosures, encampment sweeps, and more. These proposals were called for in a letter written by HousingNOW! last week that Councilmember Ryu signed onto with 140 nonprofits and advocates. But with no action yet on these necessary measures, and April 1 approaching, Councilmember Ryu urged the Governor to move quickly to protect renters and working people.

Read the letter to Mayor Garcetti here.

Read the letter to Governor Newsom here.

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Assistant City Council President Pro Tempore David E. Ryu represents Los Angeles’ 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys. 


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