L.A.’s housing crisis and lack of affordable housing put lower-income tenant households at serious risk of eviction, most tenants are unable to defend themselves, even if they are evicted unfairly or illegally. This is because 85% of tenants in L.A. have no legal representation in housing court, while landlords almost always do. This situation stacks the deck in favor of landlords, who usually win eviction cases.
Evictions have devastating consequences: families that experience eviction subsequently have higher rates of job loss, less access to good schools, and a higher chance of becoming homeless. Eviction also makes it much harder to find new housing, because landlords often refuse to rent to tenants who have been evicted in the past.
To level the playing field, tenants need a guaranteed right to counsel. This would ensure that renters have access to free legal representation in housing court, in the same way that our society guarantees defendants in criminal cases the right to an attorney. A right to counsel program in New York City has reduced evictions and saved the city money.
That’s why we’re supporting Assembly Bill 1487. The bill, authored by our local legislator Jesse Gabriel and sponsored by the Housing Now! coalition, establishes a statewide right to counsel program. Please tell your state legislators to act boldly to fight homelessness and illegal evictions by supporting AB 1487.
Housing 101 – This Weekend!
Want to learn more about the history of housing in Los Angeles, the facts about the housing crisis, and what we do at AHLA?
Join us for Housing 101 – Introduction to Abundant Housing LA. Great for new members who are interested in learning more, experienced members who want to deepen their understanding of housing issues, and those who are just interested in seeing what we’re all about.
Luke Klipp, our Education Director with urban and transit policy experience, will lead a presentation and discussion.
Spotlight – AHLA’s New Board Member, Naomi Goldman
Naomi Goldman is Principal at NLG Communications, a full-service public affairs, public relations and crisis management firm. She has directed award-winning communications programs for Fortune 500 companies, local, state and federal public agencies and municipalities, academic institutions, nonprofits and foundations, and focuses on campaigns that engage communities, safeguard reputations, advance policy and business agendas and affect social change.
Goldman has spearheaded programs addressing some of the nation’s most pressing social issues, including the last seven years on Southern California’s homelessness and affordable housing crisis. She handled communications for the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, which oversees the deployment of Measure H funds, and worked with the LA County Board of Supervisors on complex policy, funding and public outreach issues.
Prior to that, Goldman directed communications initiatives for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority around funding, programmatic and policy-oriented issues and served as media spokesperson. She is the Vice President of Legislative Advocacy for Heart of LA Democratic Club, an ambassador to United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Everyone In campaign and serves as a delegate to the California Democratic Party, and is using these roles to support and enact local, state and federal legislative and funding remedies to help people move from homelessness to housing.
In case you missed it: March’s Women in Housing Advocacy Panel
Hear from women housing organizers Nancy and Chelsea about why housing is important to them, and how women are uniquely positioned to influence housing policies.