from Fr. David Matz, C.PP.S.
I have been working with One LA and with the Mayor’s office for 2 years on the “right to counsel” proposal for renters. This proposal’s history started at St. Agnes Parish in Los Angeles, where I serve as the pastor. We have done two workshops in the past two years helping our parishioners who are tenants know their rights when it comes to renting and possible illegal eviction. We now in Los Angeles sit on the cusp of a budget proposal to fund this program for the coming year. The following article from One LA’s newsletter explains the latest news conference.

One LA Urges Mayor to Fund a Renters’ “Right to Counsel” 

At a news conference Thursday outside City Hall, One LA and a coalition of tenant advocates pressed for the city to move forward with a “right to counsel” ordinance and called on Mayor Eric Garcetti to allocate $10 million to assist tenants in his upcoming budget.

“We have a humanitarian crisis in our city in regards to homelessness and housing,” said Fr. David Matz of St. Agnes Catholic Church. “In the last ten years we have lost one thousand families from our parish due to these issues. Many of our elderly are forced out of their apartments and left homeless.”

Every year, close to 30,000 people in Los Angeles face evictions. The money from the city would go not only to legal aid, but also to education and prevention, outreach and emergency payments to help keep struggling renters in their homes. The price tag of $10 million would fund the first year of a multi-year timeline to phase it in.

“One LA has worked alongside Mayor Garcetti on the passing of proposition HHH and the linkage fee,” continued Fr. Matz. “Now the LA Right to Counsel Coalition is presenting this strategy to address one of the biggest root problems of homelessness– evictions. We know that Mayor Garcetti is working diligently so we ask him for his support for the “Right to Counsel” and to fully fund it.”

Story in the LA Times