PRESS RELEASE: Councilmember Ryu to Introduce Rent & Utility Freeze

LOS ANGELES - Councilmember Ryu announced today that he will be introducing two motions during the next City Council meeting to provide relief to Los Angeles residents by issuing a freeze on rent increases and a freeze on Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) bill increases, as well as a moratorium on missed payments, during the Coronavirus public health emergency. The motions, which will be introduced on Tuesday, March 24, would make the freezes retroactive to Mayor Garcetti’s first Coronavirus (COVID-19) related Order, which went into effect March 12, 2020.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  

March 21, 2020

Contact for Councilmember Ryu:

Mark Pampanin

mark.pampanin@lacity.org

213.407.7616

Councilmember Ryu to Introduce Rent & Utility Freeze

LOS ANGELES - Councilmember Ryu announced today that he will be introducing two motions during the next City Council meeting to provide relief to Los Angeles residents by issuing a freeze on rent increases and a freeze on Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) bill increases, as well as a moratorium on missed payments, during the Coronavirus public health emergency. The motions, which will be introduced on Tuesday, March 24, would make the freezes retroactive to Mayor Garcetti’s first Coronavirus (COVID-19) related Order, which went into effect March 12, 2020.

“Coronavirus is not just affecting our public health, but also our economy and our very way of life,” Councilmember Ryu said. “We must focus on the working families who are hurting right now. Issuing a ‘Safer at Home’ Order was the right thing to do - but it must come with a freeze on rent increases and LADWP bill increases. We can’t order people to stay in their homes without easing the financial strain that comes with it.” 

The motion to institute a freeze on rent increases instructs City staff  to implement a freeze on all residential and commercial rent increases in the City of Los Angeles until the end of the emergency declaration, and calls on the State government to lift any and all legal barriers to make this possible.

The motion to institute a freeze on utility bill increases instructs LADWP to immediately develop a program to prohibit increases on  utility bills over and above the average water and electric charges paid during the previous year. It also instructs LADWP to implement a moratorium on the issuance of penalties, late fees or other costs due to non-payment, and would provide utility customers up to 12 months, following the end of the emergency declaration, to repay unpaid bills. LADWP is the largest publicly-owned utility in the United States, serving over 4 million residents.

On Thursday, March 19, Mayor Garcetti issued a “Safer at Home” order, closing all non-essential business, banning gatherings outside the home, and ordering all Angelenos to stay in their homes with some exceptions. Exceptions include conducting work deemed essential or going to the grocery store or pharmacy.

Spending more time at home typically means higher utility bills, as more energy and water is used at home. While the City is under a “Safer at Home” order, Councilmember Ryu is working to ensure renters and rate payers are not punished financially for complying. 

During the last Council meeting on Tuesday, March 17, Councilmember Ryu introduced nine pieces of legislation, including establishing a Renter’s Assistance Fund, the cleaning of all senior facilities, and more.   

Find more information on the Coronavirus 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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