LA Council president calls for air conditioners in residential rentals

Residential rental units in Los Angeles would be required to have cooling devices, such as air conditioners, under a motion introduced Tuesday by City Council Speaker Nury Martinez.

Citing the past two weeks of record-breaking heat in Los Angeles — with temperatures in the San Fernando Valley reaching up to 110 degrees — Martinez’s motion calls for a report from the city’s housing department on options for changing the building code. the city to require “sufficient cooling appliances” in rental units.

“Two weeks of near 100 degree temperatures is not normal for our city, and while we are doing our best to address long-term climate change, we have to deal with how it is affecting Angelenos right now. “, Martinez said. “Our city must be ready to provide relief in these times of extreme heat. It becomes a matter of life or death, especially for low-income families living in older housing.

Residents of low-income neighborhoods are more vulnerable to oppressive heat. The northeast San Fernando Valley, Port area and South Los Angeles see more ER visits during heatwaves than the rest of the city, according to a Climate Vulnerability Assessment report cited in the motion.

“The lack of cooling appliances has a direct impact on our most marginalized communities, making them vulnerable to the extreme heat our city faces,” said Councilor Curren Price, who seconded the motion. “There is no time to lose, climate change is real and we must use all the tools available to preserve our quality of life for future generations.”

The motion also called for reports from:

— Housing Department, Heat Officer and Climate Emergency Mobilization Office on how extreme weather and climate change will primarily affect older housing;

— the city attorney on how the city can help tenants without air conditioners for an “unreasonable period of time”;

— the Ministry of Water and Energy on resources and programs to help low-income households with energy bills during extreme weather events; and

— the City’s administrative officer on sources of funding to help low-income households during extreme weather events.

Karl M. Bailey