Housing is a basic necessity of life. Almost half of Culver City residents are renters. They do not have the housing security or political voice that homeowners enjoy. There is a fundamental power imbalance between landlords and tenants.
From CC4MH member Stephen Jones:
I’m excited to share a project I’ve been working on for some time: an interactive map of the Culver City Rental Registry, accessible to the public at https://ccrentals.org. In 2020, Culver City began requiring landlords to register their rental units with the city, in part as a way of ensuring compliance with the city’s rent control and tenant protections. Now anyone can access that information. I want to emphasize that this tool is not affiliated with or authorized by the City of Culver City.
Public rental information has the potential to shift the information asymmetry between landlords and tenants. When a tenant rents an apartment, the landlord knows the rent history of that apartment and what other tenants are paying for similar apartments.
This asymmetry is one part of a power imbalance that lets landlords set the terms of tenancy, increase rents, and evict tenants. Along with policies like rent control and robust tenant protections, making rent information public might shift the balance a little more in the tenant’s favor.
Often, if a landlord is lying to the city to hide impermissible rent hikes, there's absolutely no oversight. At the very least, with this tool a Culver City tenant will now be able to check whether their landlord is reporting accurate rent data to the city.
There's now a tool that takes Culver City's rental registry and puts it all online — so you can look up the rent on any rental unit that's registered with the city: https://ccrentals.org.
With this tool, tenants can now access the same rent price history that their landlord has.
The city wouldn't make this data public, but the public has a right to know.
CC4MH understands that decades of policy choices have created the conditions that got us to the current unhoused crisis and solutions are likely to take years to implement should political will be present. For this reason, we support mutual aid organizations in our region, as they work tirelessly to meet the needs of our unhoused neighbors. We volunteer our time with mutual aid groups and encourage contributions and donations to their efforts. Mutual aid encourages us to experience the humanity of our neighbors up close and to view for ourselves all that we have in common.
Some of the Mutual Aid organizations making a difference in our area:
LAN4N is a mutual aid organization fighting for housing justice and services for unhoused people across the Westside of Los Angeles. They host a monthly Resource Center and engage in direct outreach and advocacy to build power and connect people to what they need. CC4MH is excited to partner and support LAN4N as well as their coalition partners providing outreach, resources, and services to our West LA region unhoused neighbor community members.
Culver City Council adopted an anti-camping ordinance that allows the City to approach anyone living outside and seize everything they have except for their bedding (blanket, sleeping bag, pillow). Since the City Council majority has demonstrated that it's not serious about caring for unhoused residents by meeting their basic needs (shelter, food, and safety), it's especially important that we band together to offer mutual aid and support to our unhoused community members.
Decades of Federal and State policy choices have created the conditions that got us to the current unhoused crisis. Most minority groups, especially African Americans and Indigenous people, experience homelessness at higher rates than Whites, largely due to long-standing historical and structural racism. Other policies that have set the stage for our current housing crisis: