Councilman Proposes Penalizing Landlords for Vacant Units

Vacant sign

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin is set to propose new laws today that would punish landlords who intentionally keep residential units vacant.

The law, named the Empty House Penalty, will request a report on the different vacant homes and units in Los Angeles and how to address them, officials from Bonin's office said. It will also seek ways to enforce certain laws regarding units that are kept off the market.

The proposed legislation, intended to assist in the city's effort to reduce homelessness, comes a week following the release of the latest report that stated Los Angeles' homeless population rose 12%, now totaled at more than 36,000.

Bonin's news conference prior to today's city council meeting is expected to be joined by representatives from both housing and affordability advocates, including some organizations that are usually on opposite sides of local debates about development, the news release stated.

The list of advocates includes Bill Przylucki of People Organized for Westside Renewal; Chelsea Byers and Nick Burns of Abundant Housing; Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival; and Alan Greenlee of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing.

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