City of Los Angeles explores housing right to counsel ordinance

11/01/2017, Legislation, Housing - Evictions

A 2015 rule from the Obama Administration requires all cities to determine if they are "affirmatively furthering fair housing", which is a requirement of the federal Fair Housing Act.  In November 2017, the City of Los Angeles released its fair housing assessment, and one of the stated goals is to "Protect tenants’ legal rights through a 'Right to Counsel' Ordinance."   The assessment notes that evictions in the city dropped significantly after the passage of the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act, suggesting that increased representation has reduced the rate of evictions, but the assessment notes the insufficiency of current state funding.  It then charges several city departments and the City Council with exploring such an ordinance.