Mayor says new regulations won’t protect renters from being priced out

Mayor Lauren Meister fought back against a motion that will change the replacement requirements for protected dwelling units that will be demolished and were occupied by above lower income households and were subject to a form of rent or price control.

In a 4-1 vote, City Council on Monday approved Staff’s alternate recommendation to require the replacement of units where occupants are above lower income with mostly rent-stabilized units (starting at market rate prices) and a maximum of 35% deed-restricted lower income affordable units in the new project (this requirement extends to ten years if the former property has been removed from the rental housing market using the Ellis Act.)

Mayor Meister thought the replacement units should be 100% affordable.

Staff also recommended that the city embark on a study to see how the move would affect developers. Meister said it was obvious.

“We don’t need to analyze this to see if it disincentivizes some developments,” she said. “It will. But I believe that was the state’s purpose to protect existing rent-stabilized housing that is affordable. So that renters paying affordable rents can stay in their homes. For staff to assert that by doing this, we will not reach our RHNA numbers is disingenuous. So if staff is planning to reach our RHNA numbers by tearing down existing housing that is already affordable and putting up luxury units, then I believe that staff is moving in the wrong direction, especially when in our housing element we talk about protecting our existing rent-stabilized units. So, instead of doing a study and wasting money to find out something we already know, why doesn’t staff recommend to do a study to figure out how we can help our small mom-and-pop apartment-building owners to maintain and upgrade their buildings and keep our residents currently living in rental units, that are affordable, housed?”

It’s an issue Meister has been pursuing for years.

“For three years ever since the Planning Commission recommended that we go with all affordable units, For one-for-one replacement, I have been asking staff when this item is going to be coming to Council.”

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About Brandon Garcia
Brandon Garcia is editor of WEHOville. He oversees the website's editorial direction and creates original content such as news reports, photo and video features, digital art work and advertisements. A native of the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, he now lives in WeHo and is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community. @brandoninthebubble on Instagram

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hahaha
hahaha
1 month ago

Why doesnt the city buy the building across from the post office on San Vicente? It’s multi story and would provide housing for homeless looking to get off the street INSTEAD of buying Holloway Motel just for the billboard income 😀

BOXABLE?
BOXABLE?
1 month ago

A word about housing the homeless on this thread please.

Rick Caruso is advocating homes for the homeless by BOXABLE that he claims can be built in your backyard. Better than tiny homes. What a lovely untenable idea. Think about it, no attempts to change their behavior, just put out the welcome mat and move them in to your property. Beware of wild promises and think before you vote.

Stephanie Harker
Stephanie Harker
1 month ago
Reply to  BOXABLE?

Rick Caruso has no control over anything in West Hollywood. He is running for Mayor of LOS ANGELES. If you live within West Hollywood you cannot vote for the Mayor of Los Angeles.

BOXABLE?
BOXABLE?
1 month ago

The remark was used as an example of wildly exaggerated remarks and promises that people running for office too often make. It is happening in West Hollywood under our noses.

Joseph Clapsaddle
1 month ago

Thank you Mayor Meister for your courage to demand intelligent research to our West Hollywood housing issues.

Deja Vu
Deja Vu
1 month ago

I am sick to death of this council, (clearly the only EXCEPTION is our Mayor, Lauren Meister)! For 3 years Mayor Meister and our Planning Commission have tried in vain to get staff to implement the one-for-one replacement. How Dare Lindsey Horvath verbally attack another councilmember, our Mayor! 3 years of asking and waiting for staff to do the right thing for our rent stabilized renters! Lindsey was beyond out of line and the outright arrogance and lack of respect is infuriating. Disagreement amongst council members happens but ideally there is respect for hearing another point of view, but to… Read more »

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
1 month ago

More often than not, common sense should rule sound policy making and common sense does not require extensive study and analysis. I’ve long maintained that any well-run organization would be wise to employ a director of common sense. Lauren Meister seems to fill that role in West Hollywood officialdom. It was disturbing to watch Lindsey Horvath twice attack Meister for daring to do her job; the job is in large part one of oversight of the city hall bureaucracy. Oversight demands tough questioning and accountability. Horvath’s petulant rants and attacks from the council dais are becoming increasingly a part of… Read more »

Common Sense
Common Sense
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Thoroughly agree with your thoughts. It mirrors my work ethic which has been successful when applied in multiple business endeavors. Perhaps the City of West Hollywood could appoint Lauren Meister to become the Director of Common Sense when her final term ends in contrast to Lindsey Horvath who is destined to expand opaque bureaucracy wherever she may land.

On second thought, the City appears to enjoy the environment of opaque in which I justifies salaries to multiple staff member who don’t appear to have vision beyond the four corners of their desks or common sense insight.

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