BIG WIN - Thank you for your help!

PLUM just delivered our communities a huge win by passing Appendix A, sending it to the full City Council, and then rejecting a motion that would have allowed short term rentals in RSO buildings with 4 units or less. 

We would just like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who sent letters, called City Councilmembers and took time out of their day yesterday to attend the PLUM hearing.  

Your letters, calls, presence and testimony definitely moved the needle with the committee and helped us secure a very necessary win to ensure compliance and enforcement of the Home-Sharing Ordinance (HSO).  It’s been a long fight, and we at KNF sincerely appreciate your commitment and participation!!

To summarize yesterday’s PLUM activities:

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Help Prevent HSO Enforcement Delays

A BIG thank you to Councilman Bonin for your strong leadership passing the Home Sharing Ordinance and protecting our affordable housing and our communities.  Thank you also to Councilman Blumenfield for your steadfast support for the Home Sharing Regulations.  And thanks to everyone who came  to Councilmember Bonin’s Press Conference on Tuesday!

Our coalition had a strong showing to support enforcement of the Home-Sharing Ordinance. Thank you to our partners at Unite Here Local 11, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, Venice Community Housing, Coalition for Economic Survival, Thai Community Development Center, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, Esperanza Community Housing, Crenshaw Subway Coalition, Inquilinos Unidos, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the hotel associations for all your hard work.  You can see the photos from the press conference below:

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CITY HALL PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY TO CALL FOR ENFORCEMENT OF SHORT-TERM RENTAL REGULATIONS

Thank you to everyone who sent a letter asking the LA City Council PLUM Committee to pass Appendix A (the platform agreement for sharing HSO data with the City.) If you haven’t done so already, it isn’t too late to play an important role in influencing PLUM members by asking asking them to pass Appendix A. clerk.plumcommittee@lacity.org.

Residents of L.A. are sick and tired of illegal hotels driving them out of their homes!  Please reach out to the Mayor, City Council and Planning Department and tell them not to fall for Airbnb’s delay tactics. Click here to open & send email.

AIRBNB DELAYS: After being given a generous 11-month grace period before enforcement, Airbnb is now, at the last-minute, attempting to manipulate the City into allowing yet another delay in implementation and enforcement.

CITY HALL PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY TO CALL FOR ENFORCEMENT OF SHORT-TERM RENTAL REGULATIONS IN LOS ANGELES 

Our Coalition Will Demand That the City Reject the Latest Attempts by the Short-Term Rental Industry to Delay Protections for Affordable Housing from Short-Term Rentals 

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September 13, 2018 CPC Hearing - We need you!

Please join us on September 13th for the City Planning Commission Hearing!

 We will update you with time, location, and other details as soon as the agenda is released. 

Thank you to everyone who has contributed a report of a converted home. If entire apartments or buildings or a home in your neighborhood has been converted to a short-term rental, report it here. We will continue to post on our Google map and send the information to the City for investigation and possible enforcement.

Call to Action: Send a letter to the City Planning Commission and ask them to pass an ordinance now!

***Please note that different email systems render the below link differently, please edit as needed.***

Click Here to Send Letter to CPC


Ask City Council to grant your holiday wish!

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Happy holidays! We hope that you have a wonderful and restful season with loved ones. 

Our collective holiday wish this year is for the City of Los Angeles to finally adopt short-term rental regulations. Every day we wait for regulation, more affordable housing is lost and more neighborhoods are being impacted.

In buildings like this one in downtown Los Angeles, homes are being replaced by hotels, neighbors by strangers. 

Send a holiday note to your elected officials today and ask them to grant our wish for short-term rental regulations now! 

News from Around the World


September Updates

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On September 8, we joined our affordable housing partners at City Hall. We reminded them of the impact short-term rentals are having on residents and neighborhoods while they drag their feet on enforceable regulation. We had dozens of supporters on hand and we shared many stories of lost housing and lost neighborhoods. Supporters were wearing shirts with the number 4001 (and counting) printed on them—symbolizing the number of housing units lost to short-term rentals all over City. We told the Council that every day they wait to take action, 4 additional units are removed from the market—making the current crisis increasingly worse.


Click below to listen to KNX 1070 coverage of our action at City Hall

Next Hearing

We suspect that the next hearing of the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee will be in October. As usual, we will be organizing our supporters to be a loud voice for the Council to consider.

Airbnb's Influence on Local Politics

Airbnb has been able to get away with profiting from unenforced regulations. A new documentary exposes how the tech giant has influenced politics in San Francisco in its favor. What's happening in San Francisco is not unique - we see the same influence in Los Angeles and around the world. We think this documentary is a great cautionary tale. 

Updates From Near and Far

  • The Los Angeles City Attorney is finally cracking down  on a few party houses in the Hollywood Hills. It’s too little too late, but we hope these neighbors see some relief and that this actions sends a message to other party house operators that their actions are illegal. 
  • Our neighbors in West Hollywood, where short-term rentals are not permitted, continue to be inundated with illegal rentals, and 60% are in rent stabilized housing. We need to use this as an example in Los Angeles of what to be leery of, as we get closer to creating regulations here. 
  • Monterey continues to crack down on short-term rentals by issuing hefty fines on violators. Residential property owners in any of Monterey's residential zoning districts that violate the prohibition of short-term rentals not only receive a $1,000 penalty, in the event that such owners don't comply by immediately removing any advertisement for such rentals, continued violations will be cited at $100 to $200 per day. 
  • The horror stories of unsafe Airbnb homes continue with this story from New Zealand. Six people were hospitalized after they escaped a fierce house fire in the Christchurch suburb of Sumner. The wooden, three-story house on Clifton Terrace went up in flames. 
  • And finally, this recent story is simply unimaginable. Loftium is a new business related to short-term rentals. It will provide prospective homebuyers with up to $50,000 for a down payment, as long as they are willing to continuously list an extra bedroom on Airbnb for one to three years and share most of the income with Loftium over that time. Developments like this only enhance the need for the City of Los Angeles to enact regulations NOW, before it’s too late.

 

 


Important Updates on Home-Sharing in Los Angeles

What is happening in Los Angeles?

A few weeks ago, the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee finally heard the draft short-term rental ordinance. There was a big turnout from both our supporters and the opposition. Our supporters had great counter statements to the stories presented by hosts that were coached by Airbnb.

The Committee heard testimony from hundreds of attendees and had a relatively short discussion about the proposed ordinance. The following issues concern us:

  • Questioned the need for any cap - based on real data (see below), we prefer a 60 day cap on total amount of days a host is permitted to rent short-term as that incentivizes permanent housing

  • Reintroduced allowing short-term rentals in rent-controlled units - this is a real threat to affordable housing

  • Considering vacation rentals, which are currently prohibited in the ordinance - as we have experienced repeatedly, these rentals will seriously disrupt neighborhoods while removing much needed housing stock

These proposed changes would weaken the current ordinance significantly and threaten the peaceful enjoyment of our neighborhoods and availability of affordable housing.

The Planning Committee continued the short-term rental item without action. It should be heard again in early August. Please stand by for additional “calls to action” as we get closer to another hearing.

By the Numbers

  • 83 - average number of nights that an affordable Los Angeles apartment becomes more profitable as a short-term rental than permanent housing; Unnecessarily increasing the cap beyond this number will economically motivate landlords to turn more affordable apartments into short-term rentals.

  • 60 - average number of nights a year that Airbnb’s own study entitled “The Impact of Home Sharing in Los Angeles,” found that hosts share their home. A 60-90-day cap will easily accommodate those that engage in true home sharing and push commercial operators out of the market

  • 31,253 - Airbnb listings in Los Angeles as of July 6, 2017 - 57.6% are entire homes, 37.2% are private rooms and 5.2% are shared rooms

KNF continues to work for an ordinance with a reasonable cap, a prohibition on rent-controlled units and a primary residence requirement.

Last week, KNF, along with our Affordable Housing Advocate Coalition partners, testified at the City Council's Housing Committee meeting - to make sure the decision-makers in City Hall, beyond just the Planning Committee, are hearing about the harmful impacts of illegal short-term rentals.

The Housing Committee also heard from tenants who live in residentially zoned, rent-stabilized apartment buildings that are in the process of being converted to de facto hotels, including "The Ellison," a 57-unit RSO building in Venice. They expressed concerns and frustrations about unwarranted evictions, landlord harassment, neglect of health and safety problems,  and about the City's lack of enforcement - as they watch neighbors being displaced and their communities  replaced with a revolving door of strangers.

Venice Takes a Step in the Wrong Direction

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As the City Council continues to grapple with regulatory policy and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer is suing property owners accused of illegally converting long-term rent stabilized housing into transient use, short-term rentals, however, continue to be attractive to landlords looking for a way around rent stabilization. Throughout Los Angeles we continue to see affordable units being take off the market at lightening speed.

In Venice, we have seen property owners attempt to turn entire long-term buildings with rent-stabilized units into de facto hotels.  Just as Carl Lambert, owner of Venice Suites, a 32-unit rent stabilized apartment building, is facing an upcoming Civil Court trial for this, the Venice Neighborhood Council, many of whom Lambert supported in their bids for office, unfortunately voted, on June 29, 2017, to reward Lambert for his unlawful activity by supporting his request to “officially” continue operating as a de facto hotel.  

Fortunately, the VNC is advisory only and this request still has many hurdles as it passes through scrutiny by the City Planning Department and Coastal Commission. While the law is on the side of protecting housing, we were glad to have 400-plus stakeholders from all over Los Angeles who formally expressed their opposition and will be watching closely to make sure justice prevails.

Learning from Other Cities

We have always encouraged the City of LA to look to other cities for advice on how to best regulate short-term rentals. Many other municipalities have been adopting and then later tweaking their ordinances to be effective, preserve affordable housing and protect neighborhoods.  

This week, the Los Angeles Daily News posted an opinion piece written by Dale Carlson, co-founder of Share Better San Francisco, a Keep Neighborhoods First ally. The article gives warning and lessons from San Francisco's home sharing ordinance.

Stay tuned as we continue our fight to protect housing and neighborhoods in Los Angeles!


The Time is Now!

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After years of hard work, the time has come for all of our supporters to tell the Los Angeles City Council how short-term rentals have impacted you! Let your voice be heard!

We’ve come a long way, but our work is far from being over.  The Los Angeles City Council’s Planning & Land Use Management Committee will be considering the draft proposal on short-term rentals on Tuesday June 13 at 2:30pm

RSVP Here!

Our elected officials need to hear directly from you that the 180-day cap is TOO HIGH.  A 180-day cap will continue to incentivize property owners and commercial operators to take our affordable housing and convert them to more profitable short-term rentals.  Come out, make your voice heard, help us fight for your community, and urge the committee to do the right thing!

Tell City Hall that our Los Angeles neighborhoods are not for sale! 

Meeting details:

Planning and Land Use Management Committee Meeting

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at 2:30pm 

Los Angeles City Hall
JOHN FERRARO COUNCIL CHAMBER, ROOM 340
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

We are asking our supporters to please arrive by 1pm to organize talking points and secure seating.

RSVP Here!


Los Angeles, We Have a Problem.

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Last summer, Mayor Garcetti entered into an agreement with Airbnb to collect transient occupancy taxes (TOT) similar to those paid by hotels. This agreement was made as the city considered regulation on short-term rentals and moved forward with taxation without regulation. To make matters worse, the agreement included no real auditing of the funds being paid—so essentially the City was taking Airbnb’s word that they were submitting the correct amount of taxes.

We were outraged. How could we enter into an agreement with an industry that is operating illegally in most cases? How could we “legitimize” short-term rentals by using this money to fund the City's general fund?

Unfortunately, it appears that our fears have become a reality. The City is once again facing a tough budget deficit and the Airbnb TOT has become a tempting drug that they are struggling to refuse.

It gets worse. It is estimated that the City received about $30 million per year from Airbnb. The validity of this number, or whether it is based on actual stays, cannot be verified. But, Airbnb has told the City that the only way it will continue receiving this $30 million is if the current status quo is maintained—meaning no regulation or cap on days that landlords can rent out their properties.

To add fuel to the fire, the Mayor released his budget for the upcoming fiscal year and the budget includes $36 million from Airbnb TOT—meaning no change to the current rules. Essentially, the Mayor’s budget assumes that there will be no limits on the number of days hosts are permitted to use short-term rentals.

Affordable housing and our neighborhoods cannot afford the Mayor’s plan. We cannot allow City Hall to make policy decisions based on its bottom line instead of the good of our City. Our neighborhoods are not for sale!

Sign our latest petition to demand that the City takes action to protect affordable housing and our neighborhoods NOW. 

Keep an eye on your email for more ways to fight back in the next week!


KNF Joins Allies in Calling for Smaller Cap and Housing Protection

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On Tuesday, March 21, 2017, Keep Neighborhoods First gathered with our allies—affordable housing advocates, hotel employees and community leaders—at Los Angeles City Hall.  We were there to send a clear message—adopt smart regulations that truly protect affordable housing and neighborhood integrity.

We are worried about the 180-day cap on total number of days hosts can rent short-term that is in the current draft of the ordinance being reviewed by the City Council.  We are calling for a 60 day cap—which will allow true home-sharing but also protect housing.

“Regulations must include a cap on the total number of days hosts are permitted to rent short-term.  This cap must be low enough as to not economically incentivize landlords to rent short-term instead of long-term,” explained Becky Dennison, Executive Director of Venice Community Housing Corporation. “The current draft has a cap that is much too high. We believe the right number is 60 days per year—and other cities agree.”

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Dennison mentioned caps of 60 days in Santa Monica and Amsterdam; as well as 90-day caps recently implemented in San Francisco, New Orleans and London.  Palm Springs enacted a cap of 32 days. The draft ordinance currently being considered in Los Angeles includes a cap of 180 days, or six months out of the year.

We also expressed strong support for banning any type of short-term rentals in rent-stabilized (RSO) units, arguing that allowing RSO units to be rented short-term will result in significantly more risk for some of our most vulnerable renters than any possible benefit.

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We are expecting a firm date for the next hearing, by the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee, in the next few weeks. 

 





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