Council moves to give more housing units legal status

File photo of a L.A. building.
File photo of a L.A. building.
David McNew/Getty Images

With an ongoing housing crisis that keeps L.A. renters paying high prices that are likely not going down anytime soon, the city council is looking for ways to alleviate some of the pressure.

One such way is to make the city's estimated 4,500 unapproved multi-family housing units available for legal use. 

The council moved Tuesday for the city attorney to draft an ordinance giving property owners a pathway toward making their housing units legal while also granting them amnesty for failing to meet the requirements in the past. 

L.A. City Councilman Felipe Fuentes, who proposed the ordinance, said the policy will meet the intersection of making sure the properties are safe and secure for the renters and massaging the existing rules so owners can actually comply, all while increasing the number of affordable units. 

"We want to create a new process that addresses the problem, versus what we do today and see these units go offline and renters left without housing," Fuentes said. 

According to a draft of the proposed ordinance, buildings must have at least one restricted affordable unit on site for low-income households, along with meeting zoning compliances and performance standards. 

Fuentes said some units only require simple fixes that will get them legally on the market for renters, while there are others that won't qualify for the new program. 

Fuentes said that he is confident the ordinance will be finalized and passed by the city council within the next 30 days.