Supervisor Barger Responds to Rental Housing Habitability Program

Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger issued the following statement after the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to implement the Rental Housing Habitability Program, a new rental unit inspection program for rental properties in unincorporated communities in Los Angeles County:

“This new program is ultimately about helping renters have a safe, clean space to call home, which I support.

“But we need accountability on all sides and for all parties. As this program is implemented, I will closely track its roll out of timely inspections. Our County will have a duty to deliver rental unit inspections as promised.  

I also want a balanced approach to be implemented when solving rental unit deficiencies. Landlords need to be held accountable, but I’ve also heard loud and clear from small mom and pop landlords who are struggling to keep their rental properties afloat. I’m concerned that adding an annual inspection fee is one more financial burden they will need to shoulder. So, as this new program is further designed and rolled out, I will track the resources that are put in place to support landlords – like sliding scales and help for those who can’t afford repairs. 

“The last thing I want is for mom and pop landlords to buckle under the added financial obligations of this new program and either take their properties off the rental market or sell to large scale developers. A balanced roll out of this program will help us proactively fend off gentrification and loss of rental units during a housing crisis. We need to get this right.”