Tenant-Friendly Building Decarbonization in Los Angeles: Maximizing the Benefits and Minimizing the Harms

June 2023 | Daniel Carpenter-Gold

The City of Los Angeles is working toward eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions from all buildings in the city by 2050. One of the most crucial pieces will be retrofitting existing buildings.

Residential tenants deserve particular attention in this process. Most people in Los Angeles rent their homes, and Black, Brown, and low-income Angelenos—people who have been historically mistreated by environmental and housing policy and bear the greatest pollution and climate burdens—are even more likely to be renters, so policies for decarbonizing rental housing will disproportionately affect them. This brief looks at the policy choices and makes a series of recommendations for how to pursue decarbonization that protects and benefits the city’s low-income tenants. These proposals include prohibiting the owners of properties subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance from passing the costs of decarbonization on to their tenants; eliminating provisions in the LA Municipal Code that allow landlords to evict tenants in order to renovate their properties; and prioritizing decarbonization work that will provide health benefits and energy savings to tenants. 

Download the brief.

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