Rent Adjustment Commission nominees Betsy Handler and Allyne Winderman violate City Charter
The Rent Adjustment Commission is the so-called oversight board of the LAHD. According to the City Charter RAC Regulations 101.01A:
Beyond its role in formulating policies and rules, the Commission has a civic responsibility to foster a climate of better understanding between landlords and tenants, and not to polarize these two important segments of the City. The Commission therefore encourages open communication between landlords and tenants. A sense of openness and cooperation between landlords and tenants can reduce tensions that might otherwise arise.
Members of the RAC are nominated by the mayor and voted in by the City Council. They can be neither Landlords nor Tenants. Recently, outgoing mayor Villaraigosa has nominated two interesting people to the Rent Adjustment Commission which also happens to be the Rent Appeals Board. This is important because the Rent Appeals Board allows Landlords to fight unfair decisions from the LAHD by a supposedly unbiased board.
Betsy Handler and Allyne Winderman are both extremely biased tenant activists that were nominated by the mayor to serve on the RAC. They are technically neither Landlords nor Tenants but they violate the spirit of the RAC Regulations.
As an Appeals Hearing Board, the RAC has a special role in providing a final administrative avenue of review to parties who are aggrieved by a determination by the General Manager or his or her delegate. It is the policy of the RAC that appeals be conducted fairly and impartially. (RAC 101.01B)
Let’s take a look the supposed impartial nominees: Betsy Handler and Allyne Winderman.
Betsy Handler shown in the picture below to the right giving a check to a tenant she received by suing a Property Owner.
She was Director of Legal Services for the Inner City Law Center. The Inner City Law Center’s modus operandi is to find a building, which is usually composed of many small units with large immigrant families. She has her cronies go to the building and then tells the tenants they can be rich and make a lot of money if they take part in a class action lawsuit against the landlord. Betsy Handler then tells the tenants that they need proof so she “teaches” them how to live in dirtier conditions, break things in the apartment, leave trash so vermin and insects can come. Then she teaches them how to call the LAHD and complain about “housing violations” or call the Health Department to complain about “health violations” which are not caused by the Landlord at all. The LAHD and Health Department than gang up on the Landlord and put them in REAP and task force. In some cases, Landlords are prosecuted criminally. And on top of that Betsy Handler files a class action lawsuit. The Property Owner is hit with a triple whammy. Their rental income is confiscated by the City 100% through REAP. They are prosecuted criminally. And then hit with a gigantic lawsuit that will take Hundreds of Thousands of dollars to defend. Very few Property Owners are sophisticated enough to survive this onslaught so what usually happens is a huge settlement to Inner City Law Center and a few dollars for the tenants. Or the building is confiscated through REAP and the owner goes into foreclosure at which time a city related non-profit (ie Restore Neighborhoods LA) purchases the property for pennies on the dollar and it turns into “affordable housing”.
Betsy Handler will now serve on the board that decides if Property Owners go into REAP. Do you think she will be fair or she will serve the interests and kickbacks of her old position and help her friends and cronies out?
Our next nominee is: Allyne Winderman – ex-director of Rent Stabilization and Housing in the City of West Hollywood. Shown Below.
In case people don’t know. West Hollywood has the most severe Rent Controls in the United States and for the past 10 years the allowable Rent Increase has hovered below 1% per year. How is that fair return on investment. How will she be impartial and fair on the RAC board and give Landlords a fair shot. Answer: She won’t obviously.
These two nominees were recently brought for the Housing Committee. Several Fair Housing Coalition Members were in attendance and spoke out against voting these nominees in. Our concerns were heard and one Councilmember in particular responded: Richard Alarcon.
He goes on the record as saying that the Rent Adjustment Commission is designed solely for the Tenants and that he doesn’t understand why Landlords even showed up for the nominee hearing. He obviously doesn’t know the LA City Charter as RAC 101.01A-B clearly state that the RAC is intended to foster both landlord and tenant harmony. Richard Alarcon seemed angry and defiant as he also stated that the mayor chooses the nominee and the City Council basically rubberstamps the nominee. The City Council is a puppet board of an outgoing Mayor?
It is important we act against these two nominees when they go for a full council vote. Please call all your City Councilmembers and tell them we don’t want Betsy Handler or Allyne Winderman. They are biased, tenant activists that have no place on an impartial review board!
Ed Reyes, District 1 (213) 473-7001 Councilmember.Reyes@lacity.org
Paul Krekorian, District 2 (213) 473-7002 Councilmember.Krekorian@lacity.org
Dennis Zine, District 3 (213) 473-7003 Councilmember.Zine@lacity.org
Tom LaBonge, District 4 (213) 473-7004 Councilmember.Labonge@lacity.org
Paul Koretz, District 5 (213) 473-7005 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Cardenas, District 6 (213) 473-7006 Councilmember.Cardenas@lacity.org
Richard Alarcon, District 7 (213) 473-7007 Councilmember.Alarcon@lacity.org
Bernard Parks, District 8 (213) 473-7008 Councilmember.Parks@lacity.org
Jan Perry, District 9 (213) 473-7009 Councilmember.Perry@lacity.org
Herb Wesson, District 10 (213) 473-7010 Councilmember.Wesson@lacity.org
Bill Rosendahl, District 11 (213) 473-7011 Councilmember.Rosendahl@lacity.org
Mitchell Englander, District 12 (213) 473-7012 Councilmember.Englander@lacity.org
Eric Garcetti, District 13 213) 473-7013 Councilmember.Garcetti@lacity.org
Jose Huizar, District 14 (213) 473-7014 Councilmember.Huizar@lacity.org
Joe Buscaino, District 15 (213) 473-7015 Councilmember.Buscanio@lacity.org