LA City Council Supports Eviction Defense Services Fund

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council today unanimously passed a resolution to support a state Assembly bill to establish a Homeless Prevention Fund and create a statewide framework for providing eviction prevention services and legal assistance to renters.

"By adopting this resolution, we join forces with a ride range of Los Angeles housing and renter advocates in calling for an allocation of at least $200 million in the state of California's 2021-22 budget for eviction defense programs," said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who introduced the resolution.

The bill is supported by the Alliance for California Community Empowerment, the Coalition for Economic Survival, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, the Housing Rights Center, the Inner City Law Center and more, he added.

If passed, AB 1487 would provide cost-effective legal services for tenants in eviction cases. According to the resolution, only 3% of tenants have legal representation in eviction matters, while 81% of property owners are represented.

"Studies have demonstrated that investments in eviction defense programs promote settlement agreements, reduce court costs and backlogs, and, critically, reduce the tragedy of homelessness," the resolution stated. "Studies conducted both in Los Angeles and other jurisdictions around the country show that no less than $4.50 in value is returned to the community for each dollar invested in ensuring access to justice."

The resolution will next go to Mayor Eric Garcetti for his signature for the city to show its official support for the bill, which was introduced by Los Angeles-area Assembly members Jesse Gabriel and Miguel Santiago, as well as Assemblyman David Chiu of San Francisco.

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