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LA City Council Unanimously Votes To Stop 'No-Fault' Evictions Until New State Law Goes Into Effect

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to approve an emergency ordinance aimed at stopping "no-fault" evictions until Jan. 1, when a new state law goes into effect.

According to the motion, an estimated 30,000 evictions take place in Los Angeles each year, and the threat of no-fault evictions are escalating. A no-fault eviction is defined as when a tenant is evicted for reasons that are no fault of their own.

The ordinance establishes eviction protection for renters in non-rent-stabilized housing built before 2005 and could go into effect by the end of the week.

For some renters, however, local intervention may not come soon enough.

Cinnamon McNeil was shocked when a 60-day notice to move out was posted on her Burbank bungalow earlier this month after renting there for 17 years. She pays $1125 to rent a one-bedroom.

"I feel like I'm a step away from homelessness. I have 45 days to get out and I can't afford anything here," she said. "I feel safe here. I thought it was the one place I would always feel safe and I don't anymore."

Cinnamon's neighbor Linda Miller, has rented her place for 18 years, and got the same notice to move. She's pays $1525 for a two-bedroom.

"I've lived in Burbank since 1994. I taught school in Burbank. I worked for the Walt Disney Company 16 years this round and prior to that it was from '94-'99," Miller said. "I can't afford to live in my own city anymore. It's heart-breaking."

Cinnamon and Lisa hope the city of Burbank will come up with something similar to the City of L.A. The two tenants suspect these notices have something to do with AB 1482, the Tenant Protections Act of 2019.

The California law, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month, is designed to prevent rent gouging and arbitrary evictions and protects for renters in non-rent stabilized housing.

A companion proposal to limit rent increases until the new year is still being worked on by city staff, according to Rick Coca, a spokesman for Councilwoman Nury Martinez.

Martinez crafted the proposal to "create a rent-relief program for people to stay in their homes until Jan. 1."

"... It is cheaper to keep you in your home than build affordable housing these days," Martinez said last week. "If we cannot find a way or the means to keep a single mom, who's holding down two jobs to pay her rent, if we cannot find a way to keep her in her home, then we have failed."

Martinez also said the council should expand programs that help keep people from being evicted.

According to the proposed law, 60% of the city's residents are renters and a majority of them are rent-burdened, paying over 30% of their income for housing.

"If we don't put our foot down, it's going to be hundreds maybe thousands of buildings" of people evicted, City Councilman Paul Koretz said. "Everything that we've done could be wiped out and we could end up with literally thousands of people on the streets."

The state law is to be in effect until 2030, unless voters extend it.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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