- The Unite Here-sponsored ballot measure that would require all Los Angeles hotels to house homeless people is being replaced with another that would make it voluntary.
- Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian proposed a revised version of the Responsible Hotels Ordinance that would prohibit developers from destroying housing to build hotels, prevent the use of short-term rentals as “party houses” and give residents more say in hotel developments in their communities.
- Los Angeles hoteliers and the American Hotel and Lodging Association decried the original ordinance. Chip Rogers, AHLA’s president and CEO, called the revised version “encouraging.”
The new, revised ordinance will replace the union-sponsored measure on the local election ballot in March.
“While we are still reviewing the details of this proposal, it’s encouraging that city leaders are publicly acknowledging that the dangerous ‘homeless-in-hotels’ ballot measure would be a disaster for Los Angeles and its hotel workers,” said Rogers, in a statement.
Unite Here Local 11, meanwhile, also applauded the new ballot measure in a statement, saying that it “would codify the core goals of the original initiative: protecting the housing stock in Los Angeles.”
“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 Krekorian, in a statement. “I hope to see this spirit of cooperation continue in the current negotiations among all the players in this essential industry.”
The original ballot measure, if enacted, would have required every hotel in Los Angeles to report its nightly vacancies to the municipal government. Hotels would then have to honor government-granted housing vouchers, meaning people experiencing homelessness would stay alongside paying guests. Last month, Rogers told Hotel Dive it was “the worst idea we’ve ever heard.”
Before its revision, Unite Here Local 11 was advocating for the measure alongside holding multiwave strikes across Southern California hotels.
“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 Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, in a statement. “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.”