Los Angeles County is home to nearly 1.8 million renter households. Of these, 1 in 3 are extremely burdened by housing costs, spending more than 50% of their income on rent. This is symptom of the intense gentrification and displacement currently impacting Los Angeles. Between February and May 2018, the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge collected information on the relative presence of 14 common anti-displacement policies for the 89 jurisdictions in the County. The inventory is a first step toward highlighting and better understanding the policies that can promote affordability or mitigate the displacement of vulnerable populations in gentrifying neighborhoods.
The count of the policies by jurisdiction reveals a stark disparity in comparison to jurisdictions in the Bay Area. We find that while there is a wide range of anti-displacement policies and strategies in Los Angeles County, their coverage is fragmented and implementation is not equitably practiced across jurisdictions. About 40% of the jurisdictions do not have any anti-displacement policies in place. Further, the number of policies is not indicative of the strength, quality, or effectiveness of a jurisdiction’s overall anti-displacement policy program. For example, a common critique among advocates is that while some regulations are on the books in the City of Los Angeles, this does not guarantee their implementation or enforcement. Despite epitomizing national trends toward an increasingly “Renter Nation” and, at the same time, being one of the nation’s most unaffordable rental markets, the vast majority of jurisdictions in Los Angeles County do not have any renter protection measures (such as rent stabilization). Only 37% of the units in the County have any sort of rent stabilization coverage.