Los Angeles May Require New Hotels to Replace Lost Housing Opportunities

Los Angeles May Require New Hotels to Replace Lost Housing Opportunities

Construction on "The Grand", a luxury mixed-use development designed by architect Frank Gehry and located across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, in Los Angeles on April 30, 2020. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

11/8/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

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The Los Angeles City Council is considering requiring new hotel developers to find replacement housing if their projects displace permanent housing and would also require more oversight for short-term rentals, hotels, or “party houses,” considered nuisances.
It comes at the direction of City Council President Paul Krekorian, who introduced the motion Nov. 1, in an effort to curb homelessness.
“The shortage of affordable housing in Los Angeles doesn’t just drive the crisis of homelessness in our streets. ... It hurts everyone who’s looking for a home in Los Angeles,” Mr. Krekorian said in a press release the same day.
He said while hotels are a vital and necessary component of the local economy, such development cannot take away needed housing.
“We need hotels to welcome the thousands of visitors we receive, but new hotel construction cannot come at the cost of our current housing stock,” he said.
A construction worker works on a high-rise building in Los Angeles on March 19, 2018. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

A construction worker works on a high-rise building in Los Angeles on March 19, 2018. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez said in the same press release that the proposed ordinance would also seek to replace a ballot measure sponsored by a hospitality workers union which was to appear on the March 2024 ballot, and would have required hotels to house the homeless in vacant hotel rooms. The measure will be withdrawn, according to Mr. Krekorian, if and when the new ordinance is enacted.
“This motion can be a win for everyone by setting citywide standards for hotel operations while recognizing the urgent need in our city for affordable housing,” Mr. Soto-Martinez said.
The original ballot measure received pushback from some Los Angeles hoteliers, as well as the American Hotel and Lodging Association, but that organization’s CEO and President Chip Rogers said in a recent statement to a hotel industry publication, that the proposed city ordinance is “encouraging.”
“While we are still reviewing the details of this proposal, it’s encouraging that city leaders are publicly acknowledging that the dangerous ‘homeless-in-hotels’ ballot measure would be a disaster for Los Angeles and its hotel workers,” he told the publication.
The ordinance would also require hotel developers to obtain a conditional use permit that would only be approved after an analysis of the potential loss of housing for a hotel’s construction.
A person stands on a balcony next to new residential units under construction in Los Angeles on Aug. 4, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A person stands on a balcony next to new residential units under construction in Los Angeles on Aug. 4, 2022. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Also, all owners and operators of hotels, current and new, and those who offer short-term rentals would be required to undergo a background check, specifically to see if they have a prior history of creating a public nuisance, according to the motion.
“Irresponsible hotel and short-term rental operators cannot be allowed to endanger the public safety or impair the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Mr. Krekorian.
The proposed ordinance also creates a voluntary registry where hotels can let the city know when they have empty rooms that could be used by the homeless.
“I’m happy to see both the hotel industry and their employees’ union putting the interests of the entire city first in supporting this ordinance,” Mr. Krekorian said. “I hope to see this spirit of cooperation continue in the current negotiations among all the players in this essential industry.”
The motion will now be considered by the council’s Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee later this month.
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Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock

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Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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