The Los Angeles City Council Is Now Considering This Recommendation From Committee
By Dolores Quintana
While many apartments have window cooling units or central air conditioning, not all rentals in Los Angeles do. The Los Angeles City Council is considering a recommendation from the Housing and Homelessness Committee that would require landlords to provide all units with such equipment. The second issue that the Council to explore is finding potential programs to assist lowincome and middleincome tenants with subsidies to offset increased and/or unaffordable energy consumption due to the installation and operation of a cooling apparatus; and potential funding sources for such programs. As climate change begins to affect our environment more strongly and cause extreme weather events and conditions, this is a matter that has already started to affect the city’s infrastructure.
This motion was initiated by CD 1 City Council member Eunisses Hernandez and CD 4 Councilmember Nithya Raman. It would require the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) and the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety to report to Council on potential code amendments to require cooling apparatus in all residential rental units.
It would also necessitate the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), the City Administrative Officer (CAO), and LAHD to report to Council on potential programs to assist lowincome and middleincome tenants with subsidies to offset increased and/or unaffordable energy consumption due to the installation and operation of a cooling apparatus, as well as potential funding sources for such programs.
Other requirements are that the City of Los Angeles Housing Department identify the percentage of pre1980 residential units lacking sub-metering and assess the potential consequences on the Ratio Utility Billing systems if the mandatory installation of cooling systems were to be implemented, conduct a comprehensive case study on an average size pre1980 buildings. The objective of this study would be to estimate the costs associated with installing cooling systems; and analyze the potential impacts on tenants, taking into consideration factors such as construction work, disruptions, and any related inconveniences that may arise.
LAHD would also be asked to create options to prioritize people based on geography and/or weather since certain parts of the city are hotter than others. The LADWP would have to report to Council regarding an estimate of the potential implications on the City’s electrical grid if every residential unit in the City were equipped with a cooling system.
The motion was passed on the first vote to continue exploring the issue unanimously after an amendment by CD 12 Councilperson John Lee and CD 3 Councilperson Bob Blumenfield which reads “Instruct the Los Angeles Housing Department to report on the feasibility *and potential cost impacts of including a cooling apparatus on the list of items eligible for the City’s RSO Capital Improvement Program.” It is early in the process of this motion and neither the City Adminstrative Officer nor the Chief Legislative Analyst have done cost analyses on the motion.