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Housing and Homelessness

LA City Council Reconvenes As Jan. 31 End To COVID Eviction Protections Looms

Cavernous council chambers are full of a diverse crowd sitting on wooden benches, they're facing the council dais, they're backs to the camera. Two police officers stand next to the short wooden entrance that leads to the dais.
The Los Angeles City Council meeting on Dec. 13, 2022 was the first to be held with five new members.
(Brian Feinzimer
for LAist)
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After taking nearly a month off for winter recess, the Los Angeles City Council will hold its first meeting of the year on Tuesday. The council doesn’t have much time to plan for phasing out pandemic-era tenant safeguards, which are currently set to expire on Jan. 31.

What to watch for: The council has already voted to end the city’s COVID-19 emergency period after Jan. 31, but with several new councilmembers and demands from community groups, pressure is mounting to do more to help renters. Once the emergency period lapses, so will the city’s eviction protections for renters who can’t pay rent due to harms brought on by the pandemic.

The backstory: With tens of thousands of households still behind on rent, tenant groups have called on the city to implement permanent eviction safeguards before the temporary rules go away. But with three weeks left to go, the city council has yet to schedule votes on those proposals.

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What's next: A lot could happen. Before the end of the month, the city council could take up votes to expand just-cause eviction protections. It could also give tenants the ability to fall behind on about one month’s worth of rent before they can face eviction proceedings. L.A. County’s COVID-19 eviction rules are also scheduled to go away at the end of this month, but the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is considering a six-month extension. If the county approves an extension, it could also apply to tenants living in the city.

Have a question? Right now, many details for renters and landlords in the city of L.A. are unclear, and we’re expecting updates in the coming weeks. You can submit your questions here.

Go deeper: Pressure Mounts To Extend COVID Eviction Protections, But So Far, LA Council Doesn’t Budge [LAist]