SLNC Tenant’s Rights Committee Advocates for Ethical Real Estate

Led by Co-chairs Carol Cetrone and Ninotchka Regets, the SLNC’s Housing & Tenants Rights Committee is actively pursuing an agenda to protect the rights of those who are facing eviction or being displaced. According to Cetrone, the committee has met with members of the LA Tenants Union (LATU) and local realtors to find common ground and clarify the ethics of real estate. “We are concerned that some unethical investors are using TIC (Tenants in Common), which is a legal way to circumvent the City’s condo conversion laws and evict tenants using the Ellis Act,” said Cetrone.

 At a special meeting, the committee voted to submit a Community Impact Statement (CIS) in support of a Tenants Rights to Counsel Program (CF 18-0610), proposed by Councilmember Koretz.  The program has been established in San Francisco and New York City and helps tenants obtain free legal council for housing issues. The SLNC approved the advisory motion, which was submitted to the city on September 4; city council heard public comment on October 23.

 The Tenant’s Rights Committee also heard a presentation by Jared Baxter, Policy Committee of the LA Tenants Union (LATU), who explained the legal action being brought by a Tenants Rights group HERO (Hollywoodians Encouraging Rental Opportunities) against the City of Los Angeles for non-compliance of certain aspects of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  The legal action specifically targets negative impacts of eviction as listed in CEQA’s Population and Housing Displacement Impacts section.  It will focus on negative health impacts as well as cumulative impacts of displacement, which are specific to the Los Angeles CEQA thresholds guide, with regard to the loss of housing due to development.

Baxter is part of a team helping to prepare an Amicus Brief in support of this action, with signatories from the LATU, Public Council, the LA Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, the Western Center for Law & Poverty, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE). The Aids Healthcare Foundation has funded a second Amicus Brief.