A quick thread about City action to #CancelRent. Even the best eviction moratorium might only delay displacement and homelessness for many renters unable to pay rent during COVID-19. We need to link rent suspension and mortgage relief to stabilize housing & keep people housed.
There is growing momentum behind the movement to #CancelRent & several local electeds have come out in support. But most of the conversation has focused on the need for state/fed action. While we certainly need state, fed & banking industry leadership, the City is not powerless.
For example, the City is also a consumer of banking services. So when considering various banks seeking city banking business, the City might evaluate each institution's contributions to the long-term financial health of the City, which certainly involves housing stability.
A framework already exists. LA's Responsible Banking Ordinance requires institutions seeking city banking business to make certain disclosures re: fair lending & foreclosure prevention, etc. Why not also daylight a bank's commitment to mortgage/rent suspension during COVID-19?
Amending the RBO to ask LA's contracted banks to explain how they are meeting the urgent need for rent & mortgage relief is not a silver bullet. But why not explore this, and other local strategies? Point is, let's not punt on City's role.
#ResponsibleBanking has always been important. During #COVID19 that means daylighting what financial institutions are doing (or not doing) to package mortgage relief w/ rent cancellation. LA has more tools than we're currently using, and now is the time for innovation. #HealthyLA
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