Saturday, December 27, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
Los Angeles, California
 
You are here :: What's New
Share:


Coalition for 
Economic Survival

514 Shatto Place
Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 
90020
Phone: (213)252-4411
Fax: (213)252-4422

contactces@earthlink.net


Like Us on Facebook

CES New News & Information

Subscribe To Our RSS Feed

 

 
December 26, 2014

Happy Holidays & Happy New Year from CES

Support the Work of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Make a Year End Donation NOW!

We thank you for you support and ask that you consider providing your continued support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

To donate with a check or money order, click here.

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its fifth decade, help make 2015 another year of victories by donating now.

As 2014 Ends, CES Continues to Make News

L.A. Mayor Garcetti's Earthquake Safety Campaign Faces Obstacles

by Michael Finnegan - Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"We've got major concerns about this," said tenant advocate Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival. "It doesn't seem equitable."

Renters' groups fear widespread displacement of residents who can't afford the extra rent, particularly those in wood-frame buildings with weak first floors over carports - a key source of low-income housing in Los Angeles.

Gross and other tenant leaders are pressing the council - in an election year - for greater cost protections for renters.

Click to Read Entire Article

 

Over 1,000 people attended 1979 CES rally in West Hollywood's Plummer Park that led to winning rent control.


WeHo Rent Tries to Remain Stable 30 Years Later

by Jonathan Van Dyke - December 25, 2014

"It (the State Costa-Hawkins Act) ostensibly puts a bullseye on long-term tenants," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival.

"Landlords, many, will do what they can legally or illegally in order to be able to raise the rent."

The city's rent stabilization ordinance actually allows for rent increases, which officials said residents often forget. In West Hollywood, landlords can raise the rent by 75 percent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) each year.

West Hollywood rent is set to increase 1.25 percent for 2014-2015. By comparison rents will increase in Los Angeles by 3 percent, Santa Monica by .8 percent, San Francisco by 1.9 percent and Oakland by 10 percent, according to the Coalition for Economic Survival.

Through it all, the rent stabilization ordinance is still worth fighting for, Gross said.

"What the law is doing right now, its enabling West Hollywood to maintain the diversity of having a mixed-income community," he said

Click to Read Entire Article

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

December 10, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

December, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Over the Last Couple of Days the Coalition for Economic Survival has Been in the News Responding to New & Increased Threats to Affordable Housing. Here's Some of the Articles.

Mayor Garcetti
Proposes Sweeping
Retrofits of Concrete,
Wood Buildings

Tenants' rights advocate Larry Gross (executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival) worried that tenants won't be able to afford retrofit-related rent hikes, forcing them to move. "Should tenants pay somewhat? We're open to that, but the question is, how much more can tenants pay? Studies show tenants are already paying unaffordable rents."

Read More

 

Mayor's Earthquake
Retrofit Plan Will Likely
Raise Rents, Groups Say

It is estimated that shoring up these structures can cost anywhere from several thousand dollars to more than $1 million.

"Who's gonna pay?" asked Larry Gross with the Coalition for Economic Survival, an L.A.-based renters' rights group.

Gross said building owners are allowed to pass 100 percent of the cost of a retrofit to tenants by increasing rent. However, he noted landlords can only raise monthly rents by $75 under the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

Still, L.A. has a famously high cost of living, and a recent UCLA study found that the city has the least affordable rental market in the U.S., based on the portion of a renter's income that goes toward rent.

"Tenants have no more room to cut back to pay additional costs," Gross told KPCC.

Read More

 

Is Developer Geoffrey
Palmer Destroying
Downtown or a Hero?

"Geoff Palmer is no doubt the symbolic anti-affordable housing developer in the city," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants rights group. "Palmer doesn't want to build affordable units, and he's made it difficult to allow the city to pass laws that require new affordable units be provided in new units built in the city."

Gross pointed to a 2007 lawsuit Palmer won against the city of Los Angeles, challenging the city's 1991 inclusionary-zoning requirements as a violation of California state law.

Gross has also been among those critical of Palmer's apartments, saying they've been designed to wall off residents from the rest of the city.

"What Palmer envisions with his housing is sort of a tale of two cities, where he's catering to the wealthy and well-off and doesn't want to have any responsibility for the poor," Gross said.

Read More

 

Airbnb Touts its
Economic Benefits as
L.A. Leaders Seek to
Clamp Down

In the meantime, housing advocates say they increasingly see short-term rentals squeezing the broader housing market, especially when landlords push out rent-paying tenants to run what Bonin calls "defacto hotels."

It's hard to say how much that actually happens here. Airbnb keeps its data close to the vest, and Thursday's study made no mention of the practice. But neighborhood groups in Venice, a local hot spot for Airbnb rentals, point to buildings they suspect are permanent short-term rentals. And Larry Gross, executive director at the Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants rights group, says it's becoming more common in other pockets of the city too.

"It's a wave on the horizon," he said. "And along with everything else it's an added threat to our affordable housing stock, taking existing housing off the markets and increasing our housing crisis."

Read More

 

Northern Edge of
Westlake Finally
Getting Developers'
Attention

The new developments have drawn concerns. Larry Gross, executive director of the tenant group Coalition for Economic Survival, fears the new projects will make the area more attractive to those with higher incomes, pushing rents in older apartments beyond what current residents can afford.

"If there is not some restrictions or restraints on this, Historic Filipinotown will not be a reference to the current residents, but a memory of the residents that once lived there," he said.

Read More

 

Empty Apartment
Buildings Raise Concern
About Highland Park
Gentrification

The two buildings were built in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which means the tenants were not covered by the city's rent control laws that apply to apartments built before 1978. In addition, the two buildings changed ownership during the summer. Valdez' building on Avenue 57 sold in August for $2.4 million, according to online county assessor information. The new owners of the Avenue 55 building paid more than $2 million.

"Unfortunately this is legal," said Larry Gross with the Coalition for Economic Survival. "Tenants have very little rights in non rent controlled buildings."

Read More

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

December 01, 2014
City CES Helped Build on Rent Control Observes 30th Anniversary

It was 30 years ago that Coalition For Economic Survival members rejoiced in the culmination of their years of hard work in securing tenants' rights and rent control by creating the new City of West Hollywood. This is an important achievement that serves as an example that when you organize and empower people, real change can occur.

West Hollywood was created by an organized grassroots effort, which CES led.

West Hollywood stands as a city built on rent control, and a hope and desire for justice.

30th Anniversary of City of West Hollywood

November 27, 2014

Founders reflect on past while eyeing the future
WeHo Remains a
Coalition, 30 Years
After Cityhood

By Jonathan Van Dyke

It came down to the wire.

CES Launches the Official Campaign for West Hollywood Cityhood in 1984.

During the final few weeks, proponents of cityhood for West Hollywood were not sure if they were going to have enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

Larry Gross, who helped lead the effort as executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES), said he got into a habit of obsessively checking the petitioning count each day. Toward the end of the process in 1984, he set up a card table at what is now the Whole Foods Market at Fairfax Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard.

"I stood there for like two weeks straight at that card table to make sure we had enough signatures," he said. "We got the signatures in record time, and got it on the ballot."

CES Seeks to Win Support for West Hollywood Cityhood by Welcoming Olympic Torch Runners of LA 1984 Olympics on the Corner of Santa Monica Bl & Fairfax Ave.

This Saturday, Nov. 29, West Hollywood will celebrate 30 years as an incorporated municipality. In 1984, it was a coalition of the LGBT community, Russian immigrants, seniors and many concerned that rent control was slipping away, who helped put the city literally on the map.

City Councilwoman Abbe Land said she was just a concerned citizen back then. The coalition cold-called her on the phone to seek support.

"The campaign was the same as they are today - phoning and walking and rallying and all of that," she said.

CES had fought for rent-control rules for Los Angeles County, and won them in 1979, but the group worried that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in 1984 were poised to roll back those hard fought victories. In 1983, Proposition M would have created even stronger rent-control laws, but it only garnered approximately 40 percent of the vote. In the West Hollywood area, however, Gross said the vote was about five-to-one in favor - so the focus and fight narrowed.

"You sort of had all of this coalescing and the general sense the city would be better off with local control and more local attention," Mayor Pro Tempore John Heilman said. "There were really good organizational efforts. There were people very concerned by rent control and lots of seniors very concerned about the elimination of rent control. There were also people who were feeling neglected by the county - that it was taking resources but not putting enough back us."

West Hollywood residents celebrate cityhood at a Nov. 25, 1984 meeting of the Coalition for Economic Survival, which led the incorporation campaign, 4 days prior to the official City Council swearing in.
Courtesy of the LA Public Library's Herald-Examiner Collection.

The cityhood effort was concurrently on the ballot with approximately 40 potential city council candidates. Gross' coalition, which included Land as a volunteer and Heilman as a candidate, ended up getting four of the five seats. The first city council was comprised of Alan Viterbi, Steve Schulte, Valerie Terrigno, Heilman and Helen Albert.

West Hollywood was the first city with a council that was made up of a majority of LGBT community members.

"This was a period when gay and lesbian groups thought about not just supporting allies, but also having openly gay elected officials," Heilman said. "The gay community viewed this as a real responsibility to elect openly gay people and to have a much greater say about the destiny of the community.

"It was kind of a wild election. You had a debate with people getting about one minute to talk - it was crazy having that many candidates for five seats. We did end up with a pretty diverse group, however."

Proponents had passed their biggest hurdle.

"It was euphoria," Land said. "Everyone was really excited. The city council - there was a majority of gay and lesbian people and everyone was pretty young. It was a progressive group of people."

"None of us had ever started a city, let alone run it," Heilman added.

Still, in that first year the city council enacted many landmark laws including its rent stabilization ordinance; an ordinance prohibiting discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS; its domestic partnership ordinance; and an ordinance against the discrimination of employment based on sexual orientation.

Gross credited the early rent stabilization ordinance as a reason many seniors are still able to live in West Hollywood.

"The main issue everyone was united around was rent control," he said. "That was why people went to the ballot - to keep the roof over their head."

City Councilman John Duran said he lived in Laguna Beach in 1984, but intrigue about the new city immediately spread through Southern California, as well as some healthy pessimism.

"When the city was founded and formed, everybody predicted it would fail and fail big," he said, noting he happily moved to the city in 1990.

But to the contrary, officials said, West Hollywood today is a city that has a nearly $100 million budget reserve, and has national notoriety for many of its progressive policies.

"There is no place like this," Duran said. "It is quirky, outrageous, eccentric and weird. It is exciting and it is constantly looking for ways not to conform ... I couldn't have asked to be a part of something greater than that."

In 1984, there were a number of problems to overcome. The LGBT community was struck with the HIV and AIDS epidemic, and the city itself was run down in many parts, with businesses far from flourishing, prostitution occurring here and there and gaudy wooden telephone poles everywhere.

"Meetings would go very long because we had so much to do," Heilman said.

Land would join the city council a year later, in 1985.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

October 31, 2014

Contact Larry Gross, CES Executive Director - (213) 252-4411

News Release from the Coalition for Economic Survival

Coalition for Economic Survival's Response to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's Housing Plan for L.A. Announced at the Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Jobs Summit at UCLA on October 29, 2014

What was important about the Mayor's speech was the recognition that we need to link the commitment to providing new affordable housing with raising the minimum wage.

For low wage earners providing one without the other is an inadequate formula. Without the wage increase one can't afford the housing, and without the affordable housing a wage increase will only go to the landlord.

The other important commitment made by the Mayor was the need to preserve existing affordable housing in addition to producing new affordable Units, as well as protecting the city's rent control law and tenant protections.

Over 13,000 rent controlled units have been lost in the City since 2001 as a result of developers using the Ellis Act to convert and demolish these units and build high-priced condominiums and apartments.

If we don't preserve the existing affordable units then no matter how many units are built they won't meet the need. We will never build our way out of our affordable housing crisis unless there is an equal commitment to preserve existing affordable housing.

The Mayor also committed to building 100,000 housing units by 2021. Most of these units need to be affordable, because it has been estimated that LA needs to have 82,000 affordable units built by 2021 in order to meet the demand for such housing.

In a city where the majority are renters and most of those renters are currently paying unaffordable rents, CES applauds the Mayor's stated commitment to ensuring that there is adequate affordable housing for the people of Los Angeles.

It is going to take this type of leadership, commitment and creativity to truly achieve real equity and economic justice in Los Angeles.

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph:  (213)252-4411 
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

 
 

September 29, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING VICTORY!

Governor Jerry Brown Signs AB 2222

 

AB 2222 (Nazarian) Will Become Law
Governor Jerry Brown Signs Important State Affordable Housing Bill

On Saturday, September 27, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed an extremely important affordable housing bill into law.

Assembly Member Adrian Nazarian

AB 2222, authored by Assembly Member Adrian Nazarian (D-San Fernando Valley), will strengthen the state density bonus law by increasing the affordability requirement of all low and very low income units from 30 years or longer to 55 years or longer.

AB 2222 will clarifiy state law to expressly prohibit a developer from receiving a density bonus if the proposed housing development or condominium project will result in a net loss of units affordable to persons and families who are low or very low income

Protecting Rent Control and Other Affordable Housing

Under current law, a development project that includes the demolition or conversion of rent stabilized or affordable units may qualify for a density bonus even if the new project produces fewer affordable units than previously existed on the site.

In other words, the law currently grants an incentive to projects that result in a net loss of affordable housing. This is inconsistent with the legislature's declaration that "the development of a sufficient supply of housing to meet the needs of all Californians is a matter of statewide concern."

AB 2222 will close this loophole and will ensure that density incentives are available only to projects that preserve and contribute to the affordable housing stock, thereby bringing the law back in line with its fundamental purpose.

Your Efforts Contributed to This Victory!

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) had been urging its members, supporters and the general public that supports affordable housing to contact the Governor and to urge him to sign this bill. This effort, together with the effort of other allied groups around the state, no doubt, contributed to convincing the Governor to do the right thing.

Thank You's Are Deserved

We ask that you provided a thank you to Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian for providing leadership on this crucial affordable housing issue by introducing AB 2222. You can email him by clicking here, or by calling his office at (818) 376-4246 or (916) 219-2046.

Also, let Governor Brown you appreciate that he signed AB 2222. You can email him by clicking here or calling his office at (916) 445-2821.

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph:  (213)252-4411 
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

 
 

September 24, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACTION ALERT!

 

Your Help Needed NOW to Ensure
Passage of an Important State
Affordable Housing Bill

Urge Governor Jerry Brown to
Sign SB AB 2222 (Nazarian)

AB 2222 is sitting on the Governor's desk, and your voice in support of affordable housing will be the difference between a law or a veto.

AB 2222, authored by Assembly Member Adrian Nazarian (D-San Fernando Valley) strengthens the state density bonus law by increasing the affordability requirement of all low- and very low-income units from 30 years or longer to 55 years or longer.

AB 2222 also clarifies state law to expressly prohibit an applicant from receiving a density bonus if the proposed housing development or condominium project will result in a net loss of units affordable to persons and families of lower- or very low-income.

Protect Rent Control & Other Affordable Housing

Under current law, a development project that includes the demolition or conversion of rent stabilized or affordable units may qualify for a density bonus even if the new project produces fewer affordable units than previously existed on the site. In other words, the law currently grants an incentive to projects that result in a net loss of affordable housing. This is inconsistent with the legislature's declaration that "the development of a sufficient supply of housing to meet the needs of all Californians is a matter of statewide concern."

AB 2222 will close this loophole and will ensure that density incentives are available only to projects that preserve and contribute to the affordable housing stock, thereby bringing the law back in line with its fundamental purpose.

AB 2222 has been sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature to allow the bill to be put into law starting in 2014. The Governor has not taken a position on the bill but he has roughly a week to sign the measure, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.

 

Your Help & Action is Needed Now!!!

We are asking that you contact Gov. Brown immediately and urge that he sign AB 2222.

It is very easy to do.

Step One: Go to or click on: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

Step Two: Fill in the information on this page:


Step Three: Make sure you set the Subject pull down to AB 2222 & press 'Submit':


Step Four: Select "Pro", write a short statement in support of AB 2222 & press Send Email


Or, you can Call Governor Brown
or Fax the Governor a Letter
Urging him to Sign AB 2222 at:
Phone: (916)445-2841
Fax: (916)558-3160


==================================

Also, Thank Assembly Member
Adrin Nazarian for Introducing This
Important Affordable Housing Bill

Click to Email Assembly Member Adrin Nazarian

Call him at (818)376-4246 or (916)319-2046

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph:  (213)252-4411 
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

 
 

September 23, 2014

 

September 19, 2014

Divide Between
Homeowners
and Renters
is Growing

by Tim Logan

For homeowners in Southern California, the housing recovery has been pretty kind. For renters, not so much.

New figures highlight the growing gap between owners and renters in the Southland: Many homeowners are capitalizing on low interest rates to push down their monthly payment while renters are shelling out larger shares of their income to stay afloat.

And the ranks of renters are growing.

The data, released Thursday by the Census Bureau, show that the median monthly mortgage payment for a homeowner in metro Los Angeles - L.A. and Orange counties - was $2,241 last year. Adjusted for inflation, that figure has fallen 17.7% since 2007. And the share of homeowners spending at least 35% of their income on housing - a common barometer for affordability - has fallen sharply in the last few years to 30%.

Meanwhile, median rent in the area has outpaced inflation by 2.3% since 2007, and the share of renters who spend 35% or more of their income on housing has climbed to just above half. That large burden is partly a function of higher prices for apartments, housing watchers say, and partly of incomes that have been stagnant for years.

"This trend has been going on for some time. Generally it's an issue of income," said Larry Gross, executive director of the tenants group the Coalition for Economic Survival. "Renters are a little younger or very low income. They're earning less, and their rent burden is increasing."

By some measures, metro L.A. is the nation's least-affordable rental market. A study issued last month by UCLA made that claim, noting that although rents and home prices in metro L.A. nearly match costlier markets such as San Francisco and New York, typical incomes in metro L.A. are significantly lower.

That finding was reinforced by Thursday's census numbers, which found median household income in metro Los Angeles last year was $58,869, 10.5% less than metro New York and 26% less than in the Bay Area. And although incomes in metro L.A. grew 1.4% last year, they're still down 10% from 2007 when adjusted for inflation.

"There has been a [long-term] problem of both decreasing real income and increasing real rent," the study's co-author, UCLA urban planning professor Paul Ong, wrote in an e-mail.

CES Tenant Leaders Maritza Guzman has watched as the East Hollywood apartment building where she and her mother have lived for 22 years has emptied out by a new landlord seeking higher rents.

Adding to the challenge: more demand for rental units, including from former homeowners who lost their properties to foreclosure. Thanks in part to the mortgage crisis and in part to young adults putting off buying, the region's homeownership rate has fallen from 52% in 2007 to 48% today, and the number of owner-occupied homes has dropped by 115,000.

Some of those houses have been bought by investors and converted to rental units. But construction of apartments, Ong noted, hasn't kept up with the growing demand.

There has been "low and uneven construction of rental units. Too few at affordable levels," he wrote. The "standard economic dynamic of increasing demand and inelastic supply."

Those who managed to own a home through the downturn, though, have fared well because of several years of near-record-low interest rates. Since 2009, about 28 million mortgages have been refinanced into lower rates, said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at lending giant Freddie Mac.

A borrower who took out a $400,000 loan in 2007 with 6% interest could save more than $700 a month by refinancing to 4%, according to mortgage website HSH.com.

"We've had a couple of years of almost unprecedented low interest rates now," Kiefer said. "Millions and millions of households have locked in those rates and lowered their monthly payments."

In addition, home values have climbed 40% in the last two years, nearly back to pre-crash levels in parts of the Southland, and many homeowners who weathered the downturn are now in relatively healthy financial shape, he said.

For many renters, the prospect of just holding on to what they've got can be daunting.

CES Tenant Leader & New CES Tenants' Rights Clinic Receptionist Maritza Guzman says, "There's no way they could afford to buy a house right now."

But that's what Maritza Guzman is hoping to do.

Guzman has watched over the last year as the East Hollywood apartment building where she and her mother have lived for 22 years has emptied out. New owners are planning a major overhaul, she said, and offering longtime tenants - many in rent-stabilized units - cash to leave. All but four apartments are now vacant, and Guzman said she thought hard about taking the $30,000 she and her mom were offered. But she looked around, saw nothing on the market even close to the less than $900 a month they pay now, and realized that the money wouldn't last more than a couple of years.

"It just doesn't make sense," she said.

And, although she would rather own than rent, even if she combined that $30,000 check with her mother's Social Security and income from her job as a preschool teacher and three other part-time gigs, Guzman said, there's no way they could afford to buy a house right now.

"In L.A.?" she said. "That's just not going to happen."

So Guzman is hoping to reach an agreement with her landlord for an apartment in the building after renovations are complete, to hold on as a renter as long as she can.

CES Actively Supports the Campaigns to Raise L.A.'s Minimum Wage

Click to Read CES Lead Affordable Housing Organizer Joel Montano's
Article on Raising the Minimum Wage to Keep Pace With Rising Rents.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Year End Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

September 16, 2014

 

LA Rent: Has Rent
Control Been
Successful in
Los Angeles?

KPCC 89.3 FM:
Report by Ben Bergman

September 12, 2014

"There is a shortage of decent, safe and sanitary housing in the City of Los Angeles resulting in a critically low vacancy factor," begins Los Angeles' Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which was enacted in 1978. "This situation has had a detrimental effect on substantial numbers of renters in the City, especially creating hardships on senior citizens, persons on fixed incomes and low and moderate income households."

Most renters are cost-burdened

Larry Gross, Executive Director of the tenants rights group, The Coalition for Economic Survival says, "Most renters in L.A. are working people, low-income or middle class people trying to get by and rent control laws provide them with some stability. 62-percent of renters in L.A. are paying unaffordable rents as it is."

More than just capping rent increases, Gross says rent control gives tenants some of the security they would get if they were a homeowner because they know they can't be kicked out on a landlord's whim.

"It levels the playing field for tenants," said Gross. "It says you can't evict somebody just because you don't like them."

CES Tenant Leader Wendell Jones was facing eviction from his West Hollywood apartment, but fought the eviction and won under a rent control statue. He has lived in this one-bedroom apartment for 20 years. Photo: BENJAMIN BRAYFIELD/KPCC

Gross says a more typical example of someone who has benefited from rent control is 62 year-old Wendell Jones, who took us up several flights of stairs to visit his West Hollywood apartment on a recent afternoon.

"That's my exercise for the day," said Jones, panting. "I have chronic fatigue syndrome."

Jones has lived in his studio for about two decades and it's not hard to understand why: his rent is $700 a month, thanks to rent control.

West Hollywood is known as "the city built on rent control." It incorporated in 1984 largely for that purpose after a measure to win countywide rent control failed.

In area where studios easily go for twice what he's paying, Jones' sensed his landlord was eager to get him out so his apartment would reset to the market rate. Sure enough, when Jones got sick and fell slightly behind on his rent a couple years ago, he opened the mail and received a three-day eviction notice.

With help from the tenants rights' group, the Coalition for Economic Survival, Jones fought back. They discovered Jones' landlord hadn't been paying back the interest on the security deposit, as is required in West Hollywood, and Jones got to stay.

"Now things are relatively friendly with my landlord because they know I know lawyers, so they can't just come after me," Jones said.

There are plenty of people who would think it's unfair Jones pays $700 a month to live in West Hollywood - unfair to his landlord who could be making so much more and unfair to tenants at the mercy of market rates. But Jones doesn't think so. He says whether you support rent control or not all depends on what kind of city you want to live in.

"People like me who have things to share with the community, we'll all be driven out if rent control goes," said Jones. "None of us will be here. But if you think that people should be able to live their lives, landlords should be able to make decent profits, and we should all live together, we should all have rent control."

Jones has little doubt where he would be without rent control.

"I'd be homeless," he said.

Local rent control laws watered down by the state

Gross helped campaign to bring rent control to West Hollywood and Los Angeles decades ago. He says as unaffordable as the rental market is now, it's still an improvement over what the market was like in 1970's, before rent control.

"It was a crisis situation," remembers Gross. "Speculators had found L.A., buying apartment buildings and turning them over. People were receiving three, four, and five rent increases per year."

Gross says although local rent control has helped many tenants in cities like L.A., Santa Monica, and West Hollywood, it has been consistently watered down by state laws.

"It could be a lot more effective," said Gross. "What rent control has done is limited rent gouging, protected tenants against unjust evictions, and preserved some of our affordable housing stock. But there's much too many loopholes in the law that allow property to escape."

In 1985, the legislature passed the Ellis Act, which allowed landlords to evict tenants if they go out of business.

A decade later, the state enacted the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which prohibited any unit built after 1995 from being rent controlled and allowed landlords to charge market rents after apartments are vacated. The law didn't have much impact in L.A., where new units already reset to market rates, but it had a big effect in Santa Monica.

"We can't control our rent because of the Costa-Hawkins decision," Santa Monica planning commissioner Sue Himmelrich said. "That really is the pressure on our housing market.

There's been a big uptick in so-called Ellis Act evictions in the past decade in San Francisco. Gross says these kinds of evictions are on the rise in Los Angeles.

"We've lost upwards of anywhere from thirteen to sixteen thousand units through landlords going out of the rental market to demolish their buildings to build new luxury condos," said Gross. "Housing will be lost and never replaced."

Click Here to Read Entire Article & Listen to Radio Report

 

Friday, September 12, 2014

10 Quotes to
Explain the Good
and Bad of LA
Rent Control

By
Adrian Glick Kudler

Los Angeles's Rent Stabilization Ordinance, aka rent control, covers 880,581 apartments in the city of Los Angeles, and fewer all the time as landlords find new ways to push out rent-controlled tenants. Under the law, landlords can only raise rents by 3 percent a year on apartments built before October 1, 1978 (it also makes it more difficult to evict tenants), and it's incredibly important in a city where the majority of residents are renters (the rate is highest in the US at 52 percent). Opponents (mostly landlords) claim rent control just drives rents up on market-rate units; supporters say the laws might be imperfect, but they genuinely help people. KPCC took a long look at the issue today and we've pulled out some of the most telling quotes, which cover the range of problems that rent control both faces and addresses:

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, on the 1970s apartment market that inspired rent control laws: "It was a crisis situation ... Speculators had found L.A., buying apartment buildings and turning them over. People were receiving three, four, and five rent increases per year."

Gross: "It levels the playing field for tenants ... It says you can't evict somebody just because you don't like them."

Paul Habibi, UCLA finance and real estate teacher who owns "thousands of apartments, just under half of which are rent-controlled," on making improvements to rent-controlled units: "For the most part, market forces dictate that those apartments that are market-rate are going to get investment dollars."

Wendell Jones, who lives in a rent-controlled unit in West Hollywood: "People like me who have things to share with the community, we'll all be driven out if rent control goes ... None of us will be here."

Habibi on lack of income restrictions in the current laws: "You could have an attorney making a quarter of a million dollars living in a rent stabilized property ... Meanwhile, someone who makes only a fraction of that is living in a market rate building."

Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Sue Himmelrich on California's Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which outlawed rent control on units built after 1995: "We can't control our rent because of the Costa-Hawkins decision ... That really is the pressure on our housing market."

Gross on California's Ellis Act, which allows landlords to evict tenants if they plan to go condo or otherwise repurpose the property: "We've lost upwards of anywhere from thirteen to sixteen thousand units through landlords going out of the rental market to demolish their buildings to build new luxury condos ... Housing will be lost and never replaced."

Daniel Flaming, president of the Economic Roundtable, on how it works back east: "New York puts a ceiling, unlike L.A. Some units in New York are at remarkably affordable prices. That's rare in L.A."

The Economic Roundtable's 2008 report on LA rent control: "It is a partial answer because the RSO does not result in affordable rents for most tenants; rather it slows the rate of rent increases for tenants who remain in place during periods of rapid housing inflation."

And that report again with the last word: "The purpose of the RSO is to protect tenants from excessive rent increases, while allowing owners a reasonable return on their investments ... This balance is difficult to achieve in a rental market with both long-term decline in renter incomes and inflation in housing prices."

Support the Work of CES
Make a Year End Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

September 04, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

September, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

INCLUDED IN THIS ISSUE:
- Assissting Chinatown Tenants - CES Supports New LA Housing Chief
- Tenants Face Eviction & Harassment - Tenants/Landlords Unite
- HUD Tenants Demand Better Conditions at Historic Downtown LA Apt. Building

CES Assists Tenants
& Council Member
Cedillo's Office at
Chinatown Apts.

Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) was asked by LA City Council Member Gil Cedillo's office to assist them at a meeting at the 302-unit Grand Plaza Senior Apartments in Chinatown on Aug 20. Tenants at this low-income government assisted building had received a 5% rent increase in June, which may be illegal. The Chinese-speaking tenants had also received a new lease agreement that was 43 pages and in English. CES' Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar & Lead Affordable Housing Organizer Joel Montano participated in leading the meeting. Little Tokyo Service Center helped with translation.

Sharon Lowe, with Council Member Cedillo's office, thanked CES organizers for their help in saying, "You were all great and most definitely helped to put the tenants at ease and helped to de-stress them and put their fears to rest, which was the most important objective of last evening's meeting. They came away knowing they were not on their own, that they had the support of CD 1 and that the City and State were in communications and working on their behalf, and they had CES tenant advocates alongside them to ensure their rights as tenants were protected. They also came away unified and with a constructive action plan."

 

CES Organizing
Tenants Against
Illegal Evictions &
Landlord
Harassment

Coalition For Economic Survival (CES) staff members Carlos Aguilar and Lourdes Soto met with tenants at a Koreatown building, with assistance from Bet Tzedek Legal Services Attorney Julius Thompson, to organize them to address threats, intimidation and unlawful evictions they face from an out-of-state investor that recently acquired the building.

Tenants have also been exposed to toxic lead and asbestos as a result of the unsafe work practices that was being performed in doing rehabilitation work. Many believe the intent of the new owner is to displace the current low income tenants and replace them with higher paying USC students. Strategies were developed at the meeting to demand safe and habitable housing free from illegal eviction attempts and landlord harassment.

 

HUD Tenants
Demand Better
Conditions at
Historic Down-
town LA Apts.

Approximately 50 low-income seniors living at the downtown LA HUD-assisted 299-unit Van Nuys Apartments gathered together with the assistance of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) on September 3. The tenants were meeting with representatives of the owner, AIMCO, the nation's largest landlord, to ask questions about living conditions at the building.

The meeting was conducted in 3 languages, English, Chinese and Korean, to accommodate the needs of the tenants. CES Tenant Leader Lee Chong Suk and Vivian Lee from Little Tokyo Service Center provided translation.

Tenants passionately expressed many concerns ranging from ceiling water leaks to broken down kitchen appliances, as well as general poor habitability conditions at the building. During the meeting it came to light that tenant requests for repairs went unanswered for numerous months and there's a need for considerable improvement of the on-site management to better serve the residents. AIMCO representatives pledged to meet with their on-site staff and report back to tenants.

Isaac Newton Van Nuys developed the 11-story Van Nuys Apartments in 1913 as a financial center in the heart of Los Angeles. In 1982 the building, at 7th and Spring, was converted into a HUD-subsidized residential complex for low-income senior with funds from HUD and LA's Community Redevelopment Agency.

 

CES Backs Mayor
Garcetti's Choice of
Rushmore Cervantes as
New LA Housing Chief

On August 13, the Los Angeles City Council Housing Committee considered Mayor Eric Garcetti's nomination of Rushmore Cervantes for General Manager of the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA).

Cervantes had been serving as the Interim General Manager for HCIDLA and previously was the executive officer at the Department. The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) has had an extremely good working relationship with Cervantes since he's been at HCIDLA.

In his testimony CES' Executive Director Larry Gross praised Mayor Garcetti for providing an extremely qualified choice for General Manager stating: "With this City facing a severe housing crisis, particularly when it comes to the lack of affordable housing, you need a special person to lead us. Thus, this position requires someone with a very unique skill-set who is committed to and has the ability to effectively take on these challenges. I believe Rushmore Cervantes is that person and I know he is up to these incredible challenges. Rushmore is well-respected and has the trust of the key stakeholders that are working to address our housing needs."

On August 19, the full LA City Council unanimously, on a 14 to 0 vote, confirmed Rushmore Cervantes as the new permanent HCIDLA General Manager.

Click to Read More and Listen to CES' Testimony

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Landlords,
Tenants Unite
on Amnesty
Plan for Illegal
Apartments

An unusual alliance of landlords and tenants wants Los Angeles to ease the way for bootlegged apartments to become legal.

Each year, the city housing department discovers 600 to 700 such apartments, units created without city approval.

Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, said that if their idea becomes a reality, "people's lives are not going to be disrupted by having to be displaced. They can have a little bit of security for their families that they're living in safe homes. And for the landlords, it also means an increase in their property values."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

CES Job Opening

Short-Term
HUD Tenant
Organizer
Position

Short-Term Tenant Organizer position available for approximately 6 to 10 months. Must be bilingual English/Spanish or English/Korean. Must Have a Car. Should Have Organizing Experience. Please Only Apply if You Qualify. Send Cover Letter & Resume to contactces@earthlink.net

For More Details

 

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

August 11, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
August, 2014

 

CES Launches West Hollywood Cityhood Campaign at 1984 Plummer Park Rally

CES Condemns West
Hollywood Housing
Segregation Plan!

A developer proposed a plan to convert and expand an existing West Hollywood office building into luxury housing that included needed affordable units. The problem was that the plan called for excluding the low-income tenants from having access to all the amenities provided the other residents, as well as having a separate entrance for the tenants. In a sense, the plan called for turning the low-income renters into second-class citizens.

The other surprise was this segregated housing plan was proposed for West Hollywood, one of the most progressive cities in the nation. The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) led the efforts in 1984 to incorporate the city in order to secure a strong rent control law and preserve existing affordable housing.

Since its incorporation, West Hollywood has become a leader in the fight against HIV and AIDS, rent control and affordable housing, LGBT rights, human rights and civil rights, women's rights, seniors' rights, protection of our environment, and animal rights.

West Hollywood, soon after its incorporation, was one of the first cities to adopt a disinvestment policy with companies and financial institutions doing business with the then racist regime of South Africa to protest its Apartheid practices. Those policies served as a model for other cities including Los Angeles. Ironically, West Hollywood finds itself facing a form of Apartheid.

CES swiftly denounced the plan, together with many others in the community. As CES were developing plans to broaden protest of the plan, the developer retreated from the original proposal. Hopefully the recent outrage will send a message to other developers who might entertain a similar proposal that they too will face strong opposition. CES will continue to monitor and be ready to respond if the need arises in the future.

Monday, August 11, 2014

'Poor Doors'
Development
Proposal Draws
Scorn in West
Hollywood

By Hailey Branson-Potts

There were two key issues that pushed West Hollywood residents to create their own city three decades ago: gay rights and rent control.

Since then, the city has passed a slew of tenants' rights laws, and required developers of new residential projects to reserve a percentage of their developments for moderate and low-income housing or pay a fee.

Developers are now seeking the city's permission to build a mixed-income housing project on Beverly Boulevard, with 64 market-rate housing units and 17 affordable units. But when city staff noticed lower-income residents would be denied access to a pool that can be viewed from their apartments, it caused a stir.

The developers also planned to build a separate entrance for the affordable housing area, which was clustered mostly on one floor of the building.

The plans called for "the affordable units looking down on a pool they are prohibited from using," said a recent staff report from West Hollywood's Community Development Department. "This very obvious delineation of amenities runs contrary to West Hollywood's policies of inclusiveness and equal access for all."

Social critics refer to such development practices as "poor doors" because of the separation of income groups, which has caused an uproar in other major cities.

Amid growing outcry in West Hollywood, the developers, Beverly Blvd. Associates, L.P., agreed last week to allow shared access to the pool and the building, according to Brian Lewis, a spokesman for the developers.

But the initial proposal for such separations in this city known for protecting tenants' rights has many shaking their heads.

"To think that this would happen in West Hollywood is just beyond comprehension," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants' rights group that played a key role in the city's founding.

"While the units that are being proposed are a good thing ... one has to think, what in the hell did this developer have in mind to propose something like this?" he asked. "It just really is degrading and humiliating for low-income people and that cannot be tolerated."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Developer Backs
Down on West
Hollywood 'Poor
Door'

By Ben Bergman

The developer of a proposed large mixed-use building in West Hollywood that planned to restrict tenants living in affordable housing units from accessing the property's pool said Wednesday it will reconsider.

Developers say amenities are a marketing tool to lure high-paying tenants. And they say rent-regulation rules make offering them to such tenants problematical.

But advocates for tenants view the policies as ways to demoralize people who pay less than the going rate and to not too subtly encourage them to move elsewhere. Although there is no data on how widespread the practice is, both sides agree that it is on the rise.

The proposed project is located at 8899 Beverly Boulevard, at what used to house the ICM talent agency. This was the first time a developer planned to offer amenities off-limits to tenants living in affordable housing in Southern California, according to Larry Gross, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival.

"I could have never thought that this would come to Southern California, let alone West Hollywood," said Gross. "It's appalling."

Click Here to Listen to News Report

 

Friday, August 08, 2014

Controversy over West
Hollywood Development

By Alice Walton

A West Hollywood developer says he will reconsider a plan to bar affordable housing tenants from using the amenities in a proposed mixed-use building, reports KPCC. Under the original proposal, renters in affordable units would have been prevented from using the pool in their own building. "I could have never thought that this would come to Southern California, let alone West Hollywood. It's appalling," said Larry Gross of the Coalition for Economic Survival.

 

Short-Term
HUD Tenant
Organizer
Position

Short-Term Tenant Organizer position available for approximately 6 to 10 months. Must be bilingual English/Spanish or English/Korean. Must Have a Car. Should Have Organizing Experience. Please Only Apply if You Qualify. Send Cover Letter & Resume to contactces@earthlink.net

For More Details

 

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

August 06, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

August, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

INCLUDED IN THIS ISSUE:
- HUD Tenant Conference - CES Community Workshop
- Earthquake Safety Kick Off - Southland Rent Levels
- Rent Control Info Workshop - More on Sterling Slumlord Actions

CES Participates
in HUD Tenant Conference Held
in Washington DC

Coalition for Economic Survival staff and tenant leaders attended the National Alliance of HUD Tenants (NAHT) Conference in Washington DC on June 14-16, 2014.

Left to right: CES HUD Tenant Organizer Edward Gutierrez, CES HUD Tenant Leader Maritza Rogue, CES HUD Tenant Leader Velvet King, CES Lead Affordable Housing Organizer

HUD tenants from across the nation are participating in the conference. The conference was also attended by US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials who responded to issues raised by the tenants.

NAHT is multi-cultural, tenant-controlled national alliance of tenant organizations in privately-owned, multifamily HUD-assisted housing. CES is a long-time member of NAHT.

 

CES Attends Kick Off
Event to Announce
LA's Selection as One
of 100 Resilient Cities

On June 30, 2014, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti invited community stakeholders, City officials, service providers, businesses, and the non-profit sector to a kick off event workshops to discuss Los Angeles' resilience priorities and begin to develop a shared resilience agenda. CES was one of the invited guests.

Dr. Lucy Jones, of the US Geological Services and recently appointed by the Mayor as LA's Senior Adviser on Seismic Safety, was a speaker.

In December 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation announced the selection of the City of Los Angeles to participate in the Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge. The 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge seeks to support 100 cities that are ready to build resilience to the social, economic, and physical challenges that cities are increasingly facing in the 21st century.

In the break-out sessions, Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross, noted that while supporting the need to make buildings safe, the burden of paying for the cost of building earthquake retrofitting must not be placed on renters who can least afford to pay increased rents. Potentially 29,000 soft-story apartment buildings that are mostly rent-controlled housing for low and moderate income and working class families could lose their affordability if they are required to be retrofitted.

Gross also pointed out that given LA's diverse population, it was imperative that information and access to it be provided in the numerous languages spoken in LA.

 

CES Members
Turn Out for
LA Rent Control Workshop

On July 30, Coalition for Economic Survival members from East Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, Koreatown and Silver Lake areas attend a recent workshop offered by the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department providing information on LA's Rent Stabilization Ordinance.

CES consistently encourages tenants to attend events such as this to empower them, first by learning about what rights they have and then assisting them in exercising those rights to stop displacement, ensure needed repairs are obtained & protect their affordable housing. CES Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar has been working with these tenants to address issues at their buildings and neighborhoods.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Rent Prices in the
Southland May Be
Topping Out

Already, 33% of Southland renters spend at least half their income on monthly rent, according to a report by Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. And if wages are flat, every little bit that rent goes up means something else has to go, said Larry Gross, executive director of the tenants advocacy group Coalition for Economic Survival.

"Where do you cut back?" Gross said. "They're running out of ways."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

While the Court Ruling on Donald Sterling's Sale of the LA Clippers was Good, CES is Concerned if Shelly Sterling has a Continued Involvement With the Team, It Will Mean the Clippers and NBA Have Failed to Acknowledge Her Racist, Slumlord and Housing Discrimination Actions.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Magic Johnson,
Clipper Darrell
Excited About
Sterling Ruling

By Jack Wang

But not everyone was pleased this week that Shelly Sterling could continue to have involvement with the Clippers.

Los Angeles-based housing rights advocate Larry Gross is critical of Donald and Shelly's record on housing rights issues, and allegations of racism by Shelly, which her lawyers have denied. After Monday's court verdict, Gross took to Twitter to complain the judge's decision isn't a "total Sterling exorcism."

"If Shelly Sterling is involved, players, (Coach Doc) Rivers, & fans should still shun team," wrote Gross, the executive director for the Coalition for Economic Survival.

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Group Wants to Revamp
How L.A. Collects Parking
Ticket Revenue

Critics argue that many of the fines fall especially hard on the poor, particularly in dense neighborhoods with scarce parking. The Coalition for Economic Survival, a community organizing group that isn't affiliated with the parking ticket campaign, has repeatedly raised concerns about street-sweeping fines, which now stand at $73 for parking in a prohibited area.

"Someone who lives in Woodland Hills or Canoga Park and is a homeowner is not going to be impacted," said Larry Gross, the coalition's executive director. In Westlake or Pico-Union, "a minimum-wage worker can end up getting a ticket that's larger than a day's pay.... We shouldn't be raising most of the revenue on the backs of those who can least afford to pay it."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

CES Job Opening

Short-Term
HUD Tenant
Organizer
Position

Short-Term Tenant Organizer position available for approximately 6 to 10 months. Must be bilingual English/Spanish or English/Korean. Must Have a Car. Should Have Organizing Experience. Please Only Apply if You Qualify. Send Cover Letter & Resume to contactces@earthlink.net

For More Details

 

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

May 28, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

June, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

INCLUDED IN THIS ISSUE:
- Housing & Jobs - CES Community Workshop
- Tenant Troubles - Cell Phone LifeLine Rates
- The Sterlings & Housing Discrimination - New So LA Animal Clinic

Garcetti Calls for
Housing Plan that
Alleviates Pollution,
Traffic

Los Angeles KNBC Channel 4 News
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Reported by Gordon Tokumatsu

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross, together with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3634 Administrative Assistant June Singleton-Reece, appeared on KNBC Channel 4 News on May 1, 2014, regarding a story on how the affordable housing crisis has pushed middle class, working families and the poor out of the City of Los Angeles.

As a result people now find themselves spending hours on the freeways commuting from their homes to their jobs. June lives in Ontario, 68 miles from her job in LA's Koreatown. She's spends 3 hours driving to work, thus reducing her quality of life and adding to the areas air pollution problem.

CES says the the solution lies in the creation on more jobs and aggressive action by government to produce new affordable housing while preserving existing affordable housing by restricting condo conversions and demolitions of rent controlled affordable units.

Click Here to Watch the News Report

 

CES Executive Dir.
Used in FOX News
Clip to Promote
Tenants' Rights
Investigative Report

KTTV Channel 11 FOX News commercial clip with Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross promoting an investigative report, "Tenant Troubles." The clip ran over and over on Channel 11 leading up to the airing of the report.

The story investigates the intimidation tactics some landlords use to force tenants to move so landlords can raise rents and avoid paying required tenants relocation assistance money.

This case focuses on a new owner who went so far as to set the building on fire to clear out tenants.

The report aired on Monday, May 19, 2014 on Los Angeles' FOX News Channel 11 at 10 pm.

Click Here to Watch the Commercial Clip

Thursday, May 08, 2014

CES Weighs in on Sterling Controversy
Shelly Sterling's
Continued Ownership
Would Concern Clippers,
Community Leaders

Long before the scandal broke two weeks ago. Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, boycotted Clippers games.

The Sterlings have an abysmal record, Gross said, pointing to discrimination lawsuits filed by tenants.

Gross said he is angry Shelly Sterling was still going to games during the playoffs.

"She is a partner in crime with him on all these housing discrimination issues," Gross said.

Click Here to Read Entire Article

CES Community
Workshop on
Tenant Rights

The Coalition for Economic Survival was by invited Para Los Niños to participate in the Partnerships for Families and Parent Advisory Council Community Resource Fair on Saturday, April 12.

CES Lead Affordable Housing Tenant Organizer Joel Montano conducted a workshop on Tenants' Rights, Housing Code Enforcement and Tenant Association Organizing for the parents.

 

CES tenant leader Eva Gutierrez, with CES Affordable Housing Lead Organizer Joel Montano assisting with translation, testifies to the benefits of being able to afford to have a cell phone due to LifeLine rates

CES Members Testify
at Public Utilities
Commission's Low
Income Oversight
Board Meeting

Coalition for Economic Survival Members attended and testified at a California Public Utilities Commission's Low Income Oversight Board (LIOB) meeting, held on May 22nd in the Los Angeles City Council Chambers at LA City Hall.

CES tenant leaders testified to the benefits of the recent victory in which the PUC recently established LifeLine discounted cell phone rates for low-income consumers, making it now possible for them to own mobile phones. A number of the CES members had participated in previous PUC hearings where they advocated for establishing the cell phone LifeLine rate program.

Left to Right: CES Tenant Organizer Edward Gutiérrez, CES Tenant Leader Roxana Monroy, CES Tenant Leader Agustin Cebada, CES Tenant Leader Eva Gutierrez, CES Affordable Housing Lead Organizer Joel Montano, CES Tenant Leader Burnett Grier.

CES Executive Director Larry Gross is a PUC appointee to the LIOB, serving on the Board since January 2012. Board Member Gross thanked the CES members for testifying and for their involvement in the effort to bring about this important victory for low-income Californians. PUC Commissioner Catherine Sandoval, who is the assigned Commissioner to the LIOB and was a driving force to establish mobile LifeLine phone rates, stressed the importance of CES members' involvement.

The LIOB was established by the California State Legislature to advise the PUC Commission on low-income utility issues as it relates to investor-owned utility companies and to serve as a liaison for the Commission to low-income ratepayers & representatives.

 

(Pictured from left to right: LA Deputy Mayor Doane Liu, ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker, LA Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette, Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas' Field Rep. Seth Fowler)

CES was Present
at South LA Spay
& Neuter Clinic
Grand Opening

On May 6, Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross, who is also a Los Angeles Board of Animal Services Commissioner, and CES Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the American Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (ASPCA) new free spay-and-neuter clinic at the South Los Angeles Chesterfield Square Animal Shelter.

The ASPCA plans to spay and neuter about 4,000 animals at this new facility this year and 6,000 animals next year.

LA City Council Member Bernard Parks, who's district the facility is in, LA Deputy Mayor Doane Liu, LA Animal Services General Manager Brenda Barnette and Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas' Field Rep. Seth Fowler joined with other LA Board of Animal Services Commissioners, ASPCA officials and animal rights supporters for the clinic opening festivities.

Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Make a Public Fashion
Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

April 14, 2014

CES IN THE NEWS

Read the two following articles (LA Times & LA Business) about threats to tenants & affordable housing due to the State Ellis Act. Also, listen to a radio program (David Cruz Show) on the challenge renters face because of our housing crisis.

 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Echo Park Tenants CES Has Been Organizing to Fight Their Ellis Evictions (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times / 3/27/14)

Evictions from
Rent-Controlled
Units on the Rise
in L.A.

An increasing number of rent-controlled units are being converted to condos or simply flattened, leaving a dwindling supply and fewer affordable options for residents.

By Andrew Khouri

Arie Shashou remembers simple pleasures from the decades spent in his Westside home: helping neighbors with small tasks; the daily chats with the former manager of the complex; the paintings that line the walls of his one-bedroom.

"It was a happy time," Shashou, 77, recalled on a recent Sunday afternoon. "I was hoping to die here."

That was before Shashou received an eviction notice in March. Shashou's $825-a-month rent-controlled apartment, and 17 other units, will be demolished to make way for a pricey new apartment complex.

Such evictions have surged in Los Angeles as property owners cash in on the recovery. Rent-controlled units are being converted or simply flattened. In their place, developers are putting up new condominium or apartment buildings, modern mansions or clusters of compact, single-family homes.

The evictions — allowed by the state's Ellis Act — have exploded in San Francisco as well, accelerating a backlash against the city's tech-driven gentrification. Two legislators there have moved to limit the practice; under current law, property owners are allowed to evict if they get out of the rental business or demolish their buildings.

In Los Angeles, owners filed to remove 378 rent-controlled units from the market last year, 40% more than in 2012, according to data from the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department. That pace has accelerated this year.

"The people who make Los Angeles run — such as the hotel workers, the service workers, the teachers and the bus drivers and the regular working people — are being run out of Los Angeles," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival .

Los Angeles passed rent control in 1979, after concerns that rapid rent increases were pricing many out of the city. There are roughly 638,000 such units left in Los Angeles — a dwindling supply because controls generally apply only to older buildings. And there's little political momentum to expand rent control; the trend in California has been to scale back.

In 1995, the state Legislature barred units built after February 1 of that year from rent controls and ended strict regulations in some cities that prohibited rent increases if a unit was vacated.

The Los Angeles control rules limit annual rent increases for tenants in multi-family buildings built before October 1978. This fiscal year, the city allowed a 3% increase. Once a tenant moves, however, landlords can charge whatever someone will pay — but the cap on percentage increases still applies.

Tenants in rent-controlled buildings have heavy protections against eviction to ensure landlords can't just kick them out to charge market rent.

One way out is under the Ellis Act.

During last decade's housing boom, Ellis evictions soared. Despite the recent surge, the displacements remain far below those heights. In 2007, Los Angeles landlords evicted 1,352 households from rent-controlled units, compared with 250 last year.

To invoke the Ellis Act, property owners must either exit the business or demolish their buildings and put up new apartments. In Los Angeles, landlords can set the initial rent for those new units, although the apartments would then be subject to rent control, according to the city housing department. Owners can dedicate a certain number of units as affordable housing to avoid rent control.

The debate over Ellis has raged recently. A state tenant organization marched on the state Capitol in February, proclaiming a Renters' Day of Action. Protests erupt in San Francisco to shame landlords.

In response, the California Apartment Assn. launched an Ellis-focused website to dispel what the site calls "myths and misconceptions." Ellis is a safety valve for landlords, the association said. The group says landlords invoke Ellis for myriad reasons: frustration with rent control; to move themselves into a property; to avoid bankruptcy; or simply to retire.

"You cannot make somebody be a landlord," said Beverly Kenworthy, executive director of the association's Los Angeles branch. "If they want to get out of that business, this is the mechanism to do so."

Enacted in the mid-1980s, the Ellis Act cemented the right of landlords to do just that. Many landlords who use the law today, however, are recent buyers of the property. Tenant groups and lawmakers have seized upon that fact to lobby for changes. Of the Los Angeles properties where owners filed to remove rent controlled units under Ellis in 2013, at least 51% had been purchased within the previous year, according to an analysis of city data and property records tracked by real estate firm DataQuick.

"We are not talking about the Ma and Pa landlords," Gross said.

If longtime landlords want out, tenant groups argue, they can sell to another landlord. Longtime owners, however, probably would fetch less in a sale if properties couldn't be converted to new single-family homes or condominiums for sale. And shutting the door on Ellis would put the brakes on redevelopment, said Michael Cohanzad of Wiseman Development, which used the Ellis Act to start evictions against Shashou and others.

Like many developers, Wiseman plans more new units than it will demolish. If the developer and others couldn't use Ellis, redevelopment of parcels with older rent-controlled buildings would plummet, Cohanzad said.

"Development will screech to [a] halt," he said in an email. "This would increase housing costs and would make housing even more unaffordable."

In Los Angeles, Westlake and Hollywood — neighborhoods with many older rent-controlled units — have lost the most units to redevelopment. Landlords sought to remove 54 rent-controlled units last year in working-class Westlake and 39 of them in Hollywood.

In December, Sunset MZM purchased a 10-unit bungalow complex on the eastern edge of rapidly gentrifying Echo Park. Two months later, the holding company filed to evict tenants. A real estate consultant for the company said it had not decided what to do with the apartments. Developers aren't required to disclose their ultimate plans, only that they will take the units off the market.

Investment dollars have flooded this sleepy stretch of Sunset Boulevard as gentrification moves east. A luxury apartment complex — with penthouses priced as high as $6,500 a month — is scheduled to open soon near the bungalow complex. A Canadian developer has proposed a large apartment and retail complex just south of Sunset MZM's investment. And a popular taco restaurant opened last year next door to Melina Vasquez's bungalow at Sunset MZM's complex, where she faces eviction.

Vasquez, 36, says the location of her $825-a-month bungalow is safer than other areas where her family can afford to live. A long staircase, shaded by leafy trees, extends from her hillside home and ends at Sunset Boulevard. It's the only entrance to the complex.

At a bungalow farther down the hill, music hummed and neighbors grilled carne asada. Vasquez's three daughters stood at her feet. Toys spread across their porch.

"Here," Vasquez said in Spanish, "I feel secure with them.

"Where am I going to go?"

A torrid housing rebound early last year has forced hundreds into similar situations. Many landlords can finally make a profit by selling their buildings or converting their use. The median home price in Los Angeles County rose 21.7% in February compared with a year earlier, DataQuick said.

"The market is coming back again," said Hershel Mangoli, who recently filed evictions to build condos in the Sawtelle neighborhood on Los Angeles' Westside.

In San Francisco, prices and evictions have climbed faster. Ellis evictions nearly doubled in the last year to 216 from 116, according to the city's rent board.

Two state legislators from the city recently introduced bills to tighten the Ellis Act, an attempt that has often failed amid fierce opposition from the real estate industry. One bill, introduced by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), would allow San Francisco to bar property owners from using Ellis for five years after acquiring a building. Local jurisdictions throughout California could impose moratoriums on such evictions under another bill.

"Experience shows you can't build your way out of an affordable housing crisis," Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) said upon introducing the latter bill. "We have to do what we can to preserve what affordable housing we have."

Evicted tenants have some cushion. In Los Angeles, landlords must pay $7,600 to $19,000 per unit for relocation expenses. But tenant groups say that money can evaporate quickly once longtime tenants start paying market rents.

Shashou plans to toss many of his belongings. He can't afford another one-bedroom in the area on his fixed income. Even a studio, he said, will cost $600 more than he pays now.

"I have only savings," he said.

Times staff writer Ryan Menezes contributed to this report.

 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Landlords
Want to Toss
Eviction Bill

POLITICS: Proposal would limit owners' ability to sell properties.

By Howard Fine

Larry Gross, executive director of L.A. tenant rights organization Coalition for Economic Survival , said that in the past three years, more than 1,000 rent-controlled units have been taken off the market in Los Angeles, with many of those going through the Ellis Act eviction process. He expects the pace of such evictions to increase as housing pressures mount, particularly on L.A.'s Westside.

"We have a tidal wave of Ellis Act evictions on the horizon," Gross said. "What's happening now in San Francisco will soon happen here, unless action is taken. We need this legislation now, not after the fact, because once we lose those rent-controlled units, we will never get them back."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

 

 

CES Executive Director Discusses the Plight and Rights of Renters in the Los Angeles Area

KEIB AM 1150: The David Cruz Show
Host: David Cruz

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross was interviewed by David Cruz, host of KEIB radio's the David Cruz Show, on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

They discussed the need for renters to be wary of today's rental market, the challenges renters face in finding a affordable apartment and the need for tenants' to know their rights.

Click Here to Listen to Radio Program

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

April 09, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

April, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

CES has recently gained significant media attention in numerous media outlets and newspapers regarding a number of issues affecting tenants and affordable housing. We wanted to share these news reports with you.

 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Shortage of low-income housing pushes tenants into dangerous situations

Affordable housing advocates say the improper conversion of a South L.A. building which tenants now must vacate is 'not an isolated case.

The Hoover Street building may be an extreme case, but it's not unusual for landlords to offer cash to tenants to get them to move out voluntarily and skirt the city's pricey relocation program, said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants' rights group.

He's been hearing more reports of such deals as the housing market heats up and building owners try to empty rent-controlled buildings and redevelop them to market-rate apartments.

Many renters don't know their rights, Gross said, and at a vulnerable time often settle for far less than they are due.

"I'm sure it's a lot more widespread than we'll ever know," he said. "The tenants are gone."

Click to Read Entire Article

 

Monday, March 7, 2014

L.A. & Orange Counties are an epicenter of overcrowded housing

The two counties contain more than half of the nation's most heavily crowded neighborhoods, with rising rents far outpacing incomes.

"I don't think anyone really wants to live in overcrowded conditions," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival. "But people will endure it because they have no choice."

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

Monday, February 24, 2014

While serving in the Assembly, Charles Calderon pushed anti-rent control bill

"This totally doesn't surprise me that his son worked for a mobile home park owner," said Larry Gross, director of Los Angeles-based Coalition for Economic Survival, an agency that pushes for tenants rights and an increase in affordable housing. "Calderon (was) always the go-to guy for mobile home park owners. they saw him as their ticket to weakening laws that protect tenants."

The Coalition was one of several groups that opposed Assembly Bill 761, a failed bill introduced in 2009 that would have made it easier for a park owner to charge more rent when a rent-controlled unit changed hands.

Click Here to Read Entire Article

 

 

LA Real Estate: Too Expensive to Buy, Too Expensive to Rent

KCRW: Which Way, L.A.?
Host: Warren Olney

Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross appeared on KCRW's "Which Way LA?" hosted by Warren Olney on March 27, 2014.

As Southern California recovers from the Great Recession, the Middle Class is being priced out of the housing market. Increases in income aren't beginning to keep pace with the skyrocketing home prices -and that, in turn, makes it more expensive to rent. Are urban centers becoming enclaves for the wealthy while others flee to the suburbs?

If you're actively looking to buy a home in Southern California, you won't be surprised by the real estate website Trulia report. Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire are three of the country's five most overpriced housing markets. And here's the kicker: housing prices are soaring - but incomes are not keeping up.

Guests:

Jed Kolko, Trulia, @JedKolko
Larry Gross, Coalition for Economic Survival, @la_ces
Richard Green, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, @keynesianr

Click Here to Listen to the Radio Program

 

Tenants May Pay
For Earthquake
Retrofitting Under
New Proposal

89.3 KPCC AirTalk Weekdays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. with Larry Mantle

Monday, February 24, 2014

The city of Los Angeles is considering a proposal from Councilman Bernard Parks that would pass the cost of retrofitting apartment buildings on to tenants. Currently, only 50% of major renovation costs may be passed along to tenants, with landlords and building owners paying the cost of retrofitting.

Parks' proposal is intended to incentivize retrofitting by allowing landlords and would make it legal for tenants to pay the whole cost of rehabilitation over a "reasonable period of time."

Tenants rights advocates say that placing the burden of retrofitting costs on renters would exacerbate income inequality and force people out of their homes. The council is already exploring a state bond measure that would help owners pay to rehabilitate their properties, but Parks is encouraging the city to evaluate simpler solutions.

Should tenants pay to retrofit buildings? Who should carry the burden of rehabilitation?

Guests:

Larry Gross, executive director of The Coalition for Economic Survival, a tenants rights group
Councilmember Bernard Parks, Councilmember, 8th District, which includes Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, West Adams, and other parts of South Los Angeles

Click Here to Listen to the Radio Program

Groups Meet to Discuss Wireless Lifeline Phone Rate Victory

The Coalition for Economic Survival, Co-Hosted at its Office, a community briefing on the recent LifeLine discounted wireless phone rate victory, together with the San Francisco-based The Utility Rate Network (TURN) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Attending the meeting to explain the victory, as well as to outline additional issues that need to be addressed was California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine Sandoval. Representatives from community and consumer groups from throughout Southern California participated in the meeting.

Calif Public Utilities Commissioner
Catherine Sandoval explains LifeLine Victory.

The LifeLine victory will keep low-income customers connected to affordable, reliable phone service whether they chose a mobile or landline plan for discounted service. In a landmark decision, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) also agreed with the groups involved in this broad-based statewide campaign that included CES and that was led by TURN that Californians without social security numbers should not be disqualified from the state program. California is the first state in the U.S. to eliminate the requirement.

Customers will have the option to use their LifeLine discount on basic voice and text services or choose bundles and wireless family plans.

 

CES HUD Tenant
Leaders in Pasadena
Meet to Secure
Better Housing
Conditions

Coalition for Economic Survival HUD Tenant leaders met at their Pasadena building on March 20, 2014. The tenants live at the 10-unit Northwest Manor I scattered-site IV Apartments.

At the meeting tenants strategized on ways to convince the landlord to take action to address the severe roach infestation, make necessary plumbing repairs, and ultimately implement more proactive pest control. In addition, CES staff provided tenants with information about green cleaning approaches that would better protect the health of their children from toxic chemical dangers.

CES Affordable Housing Tenant Organizer Edward Gutiérrez said, "The pest infestation is a huge problem at this site because no matter how meticulously tenants clean there are structural issues that allow the roaches to come back. It's not the tenants fault and they are frustrated beyond belief. What motivates me to continue my effort is knowing that these wonderful families deserve better healthier housing and they are committed to organizing and fighting for it."

 

CES Supports El Super Workers Fight for Justice

The Coalition for Economic Survival participated in a demonstration organized by the United Food and Commercial Worker Union Local 770 at the El Super market on Gage Ave in South Los Angeles on March 7, 2014.

Workers are demanding a fair union contract. El Super employees have been asking for respect on the job, guaranteed hours per week and support for seniority, decent wages, health benefits and union representation for all El Super stores.

CES Lead Affordable Housing Tenant Organizer Joel Montano, who spoke at the event, stated, "It was inspiring to see the tremendous turnout from community allies, such as CES, who provided support for the determined El Super workers. It sent a loud and clear message to management that the workers were not alone and that they had the community behind them."

Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Make a Public Fashion
Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

February 24, 2014

CES IN THE NEWS

LA City Council Member Parks

Wants to Significantly Raise

the Rents of L.A. Tenants!

Monday, February 24, 2014

L.A. Apartment Tenants Would Pay Full
Quake Retrofit Costs Under Plan

L.A. building owners can pass on only 50% of the costs of seismic upgrades, but Councilman Bernard C. Parks wants to increase that to 100%.

By Rong-Gong Lin II and Rosanna Xia, Los Angeles Times

A Los Angeles City Council member wants to allow owners who seismically retrofit apartment buildings to pass on the costs to tenants.

Councilman Bernard C. Parks said he wants the city to explore exempting these apartment owners from the city's rent-control law as part of a larger effort by city officials to strengthen thousands of buildings vulnerable to collapse during a major earthquake.

Proposal is LA City Council Member Parks' Latest Attack on Low Income & Working Renters

Under existing laws, only 50% of the cost of major apartment rehabilitation projects can be passed through to tenants, Parks said. Parks wants city staff to evaluate passing through all the costs to tenants but do it "over a reasonable period of time."

The idea marks a new front in the decades-long debate in Los Angeles and elsewhere about who should pay for retrofitting dangerous buildings. Twenty years ago, the upper floors of the Northridge Meadows apartment complex collapsed during the Northridge earthquake, killing 16 residents on the lower floor.

Los Angeles officials have known about the dangers of older concrete and wooden apartment buildings for years, but concerns about costs killed earlier efforts to require retrofits of privately owned buildings. Many owners say they shouldn't have to pay for expensive fixes on their own.

The council is already looking into a state bond measure that would help owners pay to seismically retrofit their buildings. But Parks said the city should first consider other options.

"Before you start … looking to the state for funding, you should first look at your own city ordinances and see if there might be a simpler solution," Parks said. "You don't ask for bond money to keep your property in tiptop shape."

A Los Angeles tenants-rights group said tenants cannot afford to foot the entire bill for seismic upgrades.

"This motion is like a direct attack on low-income and working renters in this city. It's ludicrous," said Larry Gross, executive director of the Coalition for Economic Survival .

Gross said tenants "should not bear the full burden of any earthquake retrofit costs while giving landlords a complete pass."

Apartment owners groups welcomed Parks' idea but added officials should still pursue other ways of helping pay for the costs. Jim Clarke, chief executive of the Apartment Assn. of Greater Los Angeles, said a government bond measure should be pursued, as well as grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

"We wouldn't want to see one particular group bear the burden," Clarke said.

In San Francisco, officials waive rent control limits on rent increases when owners seismically retrofit their apartment buildings. Owners are allowed to pass along the full retrofit costs to tenants, including those on rent control, over a 20-year period. Extremely low-income tenants, such as those on food stamps, are exempt from the rent increases.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors last year required about 3,000 wooden apartment buildings with weak ground floors to be strengthened.

They house more than 55,000 residents, and officials warned the loss of so much housing at once could force displaced residents to move as far away as the Central Valley, where housing is plentiful. Their destruction would also take thousands of rent-controlled apartments off the market permanently.

Council Member Parks Wants to Bring an Economic Earthquake to LA Renters!

The San Francisco law makes owners responsible for completing the retrofits. Owners can finance them with private loans or city loans that could be repaid through additional property taxes.

After the retrofit, tenants would see monthly rent increases of probably $8 to $50 a month if they were not classified as very low income. Retrofitting an apartment building in San Francisco is estimated to cost $60,000 to $130,000.

Getting agreement on the deal from tenant and owner groups was challenging, and the city could not afford to help pay for the retrofits, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in an interview last year.

Not everyone was happy about the law, but Lee said there was consensus that the safety of residents was more important than arguing "we can't stand for any rent increase."

"We lose 55,000 lives if we don't do anything," Lee said.

Landlord groups such as the California Apartment Assn. ultimately backed the mayor's plan. Beverly Kenworthy, executive director of the association's Los Angeles branch, said owners earn below-market rent on rent-controlled apartments. Passing through seismic retrofit costs to tenants is "one way that owners would be able to comply" with a mandatory seismic retrofit ordinance.

"You can have a mandate, but if there's no mechanism for landlords to comply, this issue is not going to be addressed," Kenworthy said. But she added the city should pursue other funding ideas as well.

Other cities are also dealing with who should pay for mandatory seismic retrofits. In Berkeley, owners must apply for permission to the city's rent board to raise rents beyond the rent control limit.

And Council Member Parks Wants to Make it Even Higher!

Santa Monica recently decided to resume enforcement of its seismic retrofit program. Some property owners are also asking the city to pass through retrofit costs to tenants.

Wooden apartment structures that are built over carports and held up with slender columns leave the upper floors at risk of crashing into ground-floor apartments during shaking.

Besides the collapse of the Northridge Meadows apartment building, about 200 such structures were damaged during the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Older concrete buildings are also at risk of collapse. In October, The Times reported that by the most conservative estimate, as many as 50 of the more than 1,000 concrete buildings in the city built before 1976 would collapse in a major earthquake, exposing thousands to injury or death.

Concrete buildings may look strong, but many are vulnerable to the sideways movement of a major earthquake because they don't have enough steel reinforcement to hold columns in place.

There are other efforts underway to help owners pay for retrofits. Councilman Mitch Englander is working with Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) to give owners a tax break on seismic retrofits.

But Nazarian was unsure whether Sacramento would find a quick solution.

"How can we address the needs without putting a dent in the state revenue?" Nazarian said in an interview last month.

Other pressing statewide needs, such as water, education and transportation, would compete against a quake bond measure.

"I don't know if a bond would be an appropriate way to go about it," Nazarian said.

Parks' motion will be forwarded to a City Council committee for consideration.

Take Action Now to Stop Your Rent From Skyrocketing

Contact Your City Council Member to Urge Them to Oppose Council Member Parks' Earthquake Proposal Which Will Raise Your Rent and Might Displace You!

LA City Council Member Bernard Parks' motion is a direct attack on low income and working renters in this city.

Parks wants tenants to bear the full burden of any earthquake retrofitting costs, while giving landlords a complete free pass and providing them significant rent increases by allowing them to by-pass rent control laws.

Under the guise of saying he wants to provide earthquake safety, Parks action will shake up the lives of tenants with a massive economic earthquake.

Other Council Members, and even the Apartment Association, are seeking state bonds funds to pay for the retrofitting in an effort to avoid economic calamity to both tenants and landlords.

Yet, Parks states he wants a simpler solution. And that simpler solution is sucking more money out of the pockets of those who can least afford to pay.

Parks also appears to be confused about the rent control law. He states that he wants to allow landlords to recover the full costs of the retrofitting, not just 50%. But, the rent control currently allows that for this type of work, but there are protections to tenants built in to cap the rent increases and to provide for temporary or permanent relocation benefits.

What it appears that Parks really wants to do is to eliminate those tenants protections by getting rid of the rent increase cap and relocation benefits.

With over 60% residents tenants, Los Angeles is a city of renters. Unfortunately, over 50% of renters are paying unaffordable rents. They can't afford to pay more. But, Bernard Parks wants them to.

Tell the LA City Council to Oppose Bernard Parks Rent Increase Proposal.
Help Make This Outrageous Proposal Dead on Delivery to the City Council.

 

Los Angeles City Council Contact Information

 

Write & Mail to:

 

LA City Councilmember __________
LA City Hall - Room __________
200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

 

Email & Call:
Los Angeles City Council Members:

 

GILBERT CEDILLO
213-485-7001   Rm 470
councilmember.cedillo@lacity.org

 

PAUL KREKORIAN
213-473-7002   Rm 435
councilmember.krekorian@lacity.org

 

BOB BLUMENFIELD
213-473-7003   Rm 415
councilmember.blumenfield@lacity.org

 

TOM LABONGE
213-485-3337   Rm 480
councilmember.labonge@lacity.org

 

PAUL KORETZ
213-473-7005   Rm 440
paul.koretz@lacity.org

 

NURY MARTINEZ
213-473-7006   Rm 425
councilmember.martinez@lacity.org

 

FELIPE FUENTES
213-473-7007   Rm 455
councilmember.fuentes@lacity.org

 

BERNARD PARKS
213-473-7008   Rm 460
councilmember.parks@lacity.org

 

CURREN PRICE, JR.
213-473-7009   Rm 420
councilmember.price@lacity.org

 

HERB WESSON, JR.
213-473-7010   Rm 430
councilmember.wesson@lacity.org

 

MIKE BONIN
213-473-7011   Rm 475
councilmember.bonin@lacity.org

 

MITCHELL ENGLANDER
213-473-7012   Rm 405
councilmember.englander@lacity.org

 

MITCH O'FARRELL
213-473-7013   Rm 450
councilmember.ofarrell@lacity.org

 

JOSE HUIZAR
213-473-7014   Rm 465
councilmember.huizar@lacity.org

 

JOE BUSCAINO
213-473-7015   Rm 410
councildistict15@lacity.org

 

* In case the email bounces back from a specific Council Member, please call the office of that Council Member to get the correct email address.

Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org

Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

February 19, 2014

Coalition for Economic Survival
CES Organizing Times Online

February, 2014 

An occasional email newsletter reporting on the
activities of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)

Included in this issue of CES Organizing Times:
*CES Government Appointments *CES HUD Tenant Leaders Meet
*Protecting Displaced Chinatown Tenants *Healthy Homes Efforts in Sacto
*CES Joins the Fight to Raise LA's Minimum Wage
CES Executive Director Larry Gross Gets Sworn In as a City of LA Board of Animals Services Commissioner After the LA City Council Provided a Unanimous Vote to the Appointment by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

L.A. City Council Votes to Confirm
Mayor Garcetti Appoints CES Exec Dir to Board of Animal Services

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently appointed CES Executive Director Larry Gross to the LA Board of Animal Services Commission and on February 18, 2014, the LA City Council unanimously approved the appointment.

Gross, together with two other recently approved Commissioners, Jennifer Brent executive director at the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation, an animal-welfare group started by actress Katherine Heigl and Roger Wolfson, a television writer and former aide/speechwriter to several US Senators, will join Attorney David Zaft and LA Manager of the Humane Society's Pets for Life Alana Yañez on the Commission.

Among its duties, the Board of Animal Services Commissioners oversees and sets policy for the LA Department of Animal Services, which administers the city's animal shelter system, permits, animal licenses, spay/neuter, micro-chipping and vaccination programs, and animal control with a $21.7 million annual budget.

Prior to the City Council hearing, in addressing the Council's Personnel and Animal Services Committee on January 21, as part of the confirmation process, Gross stated the need to fulfill the pledge for Los Angeles to become a "No-Kill" city by ensuring that dogs and cats, both adopted and homeless, are spayed and neutered, as well as the need to make it easier for people to adopt and care for their dogs and cats.

"This being a City of renters, with 62% of our residents' tenants, we must facilitate the adoptions in rental units. That means seeking cooperation and understanding between tenants and landlords," Gross said.

The first Board of Animal Services Commission meeting Gross will participate in is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, at 7:00 pm at the East Valley Animal Shelter.

Watch LA City Council President Herb Wesson Pull One Over on
CES Exec Dir Larry Gross at his City Council Confirmation Hearing
on his Appointment to the Board of Animal Services Commission

LA Council Pres Wesson Jokes With CES' Larry Gross on Appointment

 

Calif Public Utilities
Commission Re-
Appoints CES Exec
Dir to Low Income
Oversight Board

On February 5, 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) unanimously voted to re-appoint Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross its Low Income Oversight Board (LIOB).

The State Legislature established the LIOB to advise the Commission on low-income electric, gas and water customer issues, and to serve as a liaison for the Commission to low-income ratepayers and representatives. The LIOB oversees the state's privately-owned utilities low- income rate discount and energy efficiency programs.

In proposing Gross for the re-appointment and demonstrating how the LIOB provides assistance to the CPUC, Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval reported that Gross was responsible for a LIOB training on lead paint hazards by LA Healthy Homes Collaborative head Linda Kite which led to the CPUC adopting training standards for its contractors performing energy efficient remediation and weatherization work.

Mr. Gross was first appointed to the LIOB in January 2012.

Below is a video of the California Public Utilities Commission meeting in which Mr. Gross and two of his board colleagues are re-appointed, on a recommendation by PUC Commissioner Sandoval, the assigned PUC Commissioner, to the LIOB:

Calif Public Utilities Commisson Meeting Reappointing
CES Ex Dir Larry Gross to its Low Income Oversight Bd

Chinatown tenants meet with CES, LTSC, LA Housing & Community Investment Depart & Council Member Gil Cedillo's office to discuss the tenants being illegally relocated by the landlord.

CES Assists Tenants Illegally Relocated from Their Chinatown Apartments

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) has been working together with LA City Council Member Gilbert Cedillo's Office, the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) and the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) to assist tenants illegally displaced from their Chinatown apartments by a landlord renovating their building.

The landlord violated numerous provisions of the Primary Renovation Ordinance which requires a landlord to file a Tenant Habitability Plan (THP) outlining the work to be performed, the time it will take and whether the work require the tenant to be temporarily relocated at the landlord's expense.

Some of the violations committed by the landlord included relocating tenants prior to the work commencement date, commencing the work prior to the approved date and not amending the THP to provide information on where the tenants were eventually relocated to.

Most of the tenants are seniors and monolingual Chinese speakers. Many were taken advantage of because they did not understand their rights and were not provide information in Chinese.

CES Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP) Coordinator Lourdes Soto, together with LTSC's Vivian Lee who provided translation assistance, has been assisting tenants to ensure they know they rights and helping them participate in the various City hearing pertaining to their case.

HCID held a recent hearing on a THP appeal by a tenant. The City made a determination citing the landlord violations and instructed the landlord to take specific actions that will protect the tenants and uphold their rights.

HCID is also in the determining whether to provided tenants with a REAP rent reduction based on the housing code violations that existed at the building.

 
CES HUD Tenant Leaders Meet

Safe Pest Control Methods Advocated
CES HUD
Tenants Meet
to Discuss
Problems &
Develop
Solutions

CES HUD tenants leaders from across the city met on February 8th to discuss issues that were impacting them at their apartment complexes and explore ways they can work together to make their housing better, as well as preserving it as affordable housing.

Tenant leaders came from the Vermont Square, Exposition Park, Central Alameda and Arlington Heights of Los Angeles. They talked about how they could enhance their collective voices and secure better housing conditions. They discussed a range of habitability issues such as deferred maintenance that can lead to illnesses and hardship for low-income families. The tenants understood that in order to be successful in making positive changes they needed to establish communication and work together to defend tenants' rights.

They also decided they wanted to participate in broader issues such as involving themselves in current campaign to increase minimum wage and amend the state Ellis Act, which contributes to the destruction of affordable housing and the displacement of tenants.

 
California Healthy Housing Coalition
Members Meet in Sacramento

CES Participates in Efforts to Win More Healthy Homes Laws from State Law Makers

Coalition for Economic Survival Director of Organizing Carlos Aguilar travel to Sacramento to participate in the 5th Annual California Healthy Housing Coalition Conference joined fellow members of the California Healthy Housing Coalition (CHHC) held on February 3 and 4, 2014. CHHC is a state-wide alliance of community advocates and housing code enforcement government officials that are working on improving health and housing conditions throughout the state. CES is a member of CHHC.

Boyed by the success of last year's passage of SB 488, a state bill that grants local code enforcement officers the authority to cite for pest infestations if there's no existing agreements for the heath services with another government agency, CHHC members also took to the halls of the State Capitol to speak with State Legislators about the need for additional legislation to improve pest management, reduce pesticide use in rental housing and more effective ways to address mold-related problems in the home.

 
CES Lead Affordable Housing Organizer Joel Montano & CES Oberlin College Intern Elias Newman at LA City Council Soliciting Support

CES Supports Efforts to Raise LA's Minimum Wage

The Coalition for Economic Survival joined with other allies in providing support to the effort to raise the minimum wage in the City of Los Angeles being spearheaded by the LA County Federation of Labor and the hotel workers' union, UNITE HERE Local 11. The groups recently visited the LA City Council to seek supporters.

The campaign, named RAISE LA, is focused on raising wages for the city's hotel workers. Union organizers say the hotel industry's record number of visitors is why more than any other sector, is able to offer workers a living wage.

This position is jusitified by a recent Economic Roundtable report, which found:

  • 3/4th of the full-time labor force residing in the City of LA earn less than comparable workers 30 years ago.
  • Wage erosion was greatest for workers in the bottom half of the wage scale.
  • The average hourly wage for all workers residing in the LA in 2013 is estimated to be $27.85 or $58,244 annually.
  • 46% of LA's wage and salary workers are paid less than $15 an hour.

On February 18, LA Council Members Mike Bonin, Nury Martinez and Curren Price introduced a measure to the City Council seeking an economic study to justify enacting one of the highest minimum wages in the country - $15.37 for workers at big hotels. Hotels with workers who are unionized would be exempt from the law.

The campaign to raise the minimum wage in Los Angeles is part of a growing movement mostly led by unions to raise the minimum wage to a living wage.

LA Council Member Mike Bonin announces a motion for study to increase LA minimum wage with Council Members Nury Martinez (left) and Curran Price (right) on the steps of LA City Hall. Labor and community groups, including CES, are on hand to provide support.
Make a Statement with CES Merchandise


New CES Hats

Make a Public Fashion
Statement Supporting
Tenants' Rights & Affordable
Housing at the Same Time!!!!!

Check out CES NEW merchandise. T-Shirts, Calendars and now Hats and Messenger Bags.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.




New CES Messenger Bag

< You can impress co-workers and friends with this nifty messenger bag that will hold all those important papers for the meeting you're running off to.

Click here to see what we got and how you can order today. They make great gifts.

Support the Work of CES
Make a Donation to CES, NOW!

Show your support for the work of CES by making a year end Tax Deductible Donation Now!

The economic justice victories that CES has won over the years such as rent control, creating the city of West Hollywood and winning numerous laws to combat slum housing, secure tenants' rights and preserve affordable housing has only been possible with the generous financial support from people like you. As CES begins its 40th Anniversary year, help make 2013 another year of victories by donating now.

Find Out About Your Renters' Rights
CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic
 

 

Tenants are welcome to come to CES' Tenants' Rights Clinic held every Wednesday evening at 7 pm and Saturday morning at 10 am in the Senior Center located in the Community Building in Plummer Park, 7377 Santa Monica Bl, West Hollywood (just west of La Brea, between Vista St. and Fuller St. at Martel Ave.).

There tenants will be assisted on a one-to-one basis by one of our experienced and knowledgeable volunteer attorneys and counselors. No appointment is needed. It is first come, first serve.




Find Out More Details Here

 

 
Check Out And Subscribe to CES' Blog
 

 

Get up to the minute news, analysis, information on events and reports on actions by subscribing to "Organizing Times", a blog related to CES activities and more......




CLICK HERE

 


Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
514 Shatto Place, Suite 270
Los Angeles, California 90020
Ph: (213)252-4411
Email:
contactces@earthlink.net
Website: http://www.cesinaction.org


Support CES' Work When You Shop for Your Groceries
Sign Up for Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program:

 

Supporting CES' work couldn't be easier: through the Ralphs/Food-4- Less Community Contribution Program, each time you use your Ralphs or Food-4-Less Rewards Card, a portion of your total purchase is donated to support CES' work. This donation in no way takes away from your individual rewards earning. Registration is quick, easy and free.

Contact CES at (213)252- 4411 or contactces@earthlink.net and we will explain how to register to support CES' work while you shop.

 

 

Terms Of Use Site Map
© 2014 Coalition for Economic Survival
Login
Site Development by Dave Ellend
beacon type