LA City Council President Krekorian Directs City Staff to Draft Historic Ordinance to Prioritize Housing Over Luxury Hotel Development

Would replace Responsible Hotel Ordinance set to be on March 2024 ballot

Los Angeles – Council President Paul Krekorian this morning proposed a revised version of the Responsible Hotel Initiative that would codify the core goals of the original initiative: protecting the housing stock in Los Angeles.

“The shortage of affordable housing in Los Angeles doesn’t just drive the crisis of homelessness in our streets,” said Council President Krekorian. “It hurts everyone who’s looking for a home in Los Angeles. The hospitality industry is a vital and necessary component of our local economy, and 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. Irresponsible hotel and short-term rental operators cannot be allowed to endanger the public safety or impair the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

“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,” said Council President Krekorian. “I hope to see this spirit of cooperation continue in the current negotiations among all the players in this essential industry.”

The ordinance would:

  • Ensure that developers cannot destroy housing to build hotels, requiring that any housing lost be fully replaced.
  • Codify components of Inside Safe, a program to provide temporary housing to unhoused individuals and families.
  • Give residents a say in hotel development in their communities, ensuring the city considers a proposed development’s impact on issues like jobs and housing.
  • Address problems like short-term rental “party houses” and trafficking at hotels through permitting requirements and enforcement.

“We have said all along that our contract campaign has been about two things: housing for our members where they work and a living wage,” said Co-President Kurt Petersen of UNITE HERE Local 11. “With this ordinance, we have done more to protect housing than any single contract demand would have done. The fight for a living wage continues.”

Los Angeles is experiencing a dramatic increase in hotel development, ranking second in the nation in the number of new hotel rooms in its pipeline, with more than 100 hotels under construction or in planning stages. The ordinance will ensure developers cannot destroy housing to build hotels. Over the last several years, UNITE HERE Local 11 has worked with local housing groups and identified multiple hotel projects that would result in the loss of housing, such as one downtown development that would turn 57 apartments into 172 hotel rooms and another project that converted 97 apartments into hotel rooms. Among other pro-housing provisions, the new law would require new hotels that displace housing to replace that housing on a one-for-one basis.

“I would like to commend Council President Paul Krekorian for his leadership on this issue,” said Petersen.

“Even though there are five of us in my household, and almost all of us work, I can’t afford to live closer than Apple Valley,” said Brenda Mendoza, a 15-year uniform attendant at the JW Marriott at LA Live. “I can barely sleep more than two to three hours a night. That’s why I’m excited to see the City step in and help us get this responsible hotel ordinance passed into law.”

After today’s council meeting, the city staff will work to finalize revised language that the city council would vote on November 8. UNITE HERE Local 11 has until December 1 to withdraw the original language of the ordinance. The new ordinance would come before Council for a vote in early December.