Los Angeles Building Decarbonization: Tenant Impact and Recommendations

This report looks at the negative impacts building decarbonization could have on the City’s renter population. Buildings are the largest source of pollution in Los Angeles and decarbonizing them is critical to tackling climate change. However, decarbonization, which will require property owners to replace polluting natural gas appliances with all-electric appliances and make envelope improvements to their buildings, is expensive. As this report shows, it can cost as much as $28,000 per housing unit, and under existing laws, these costs can be passed down to renters.

Our report shows how decarbonization could end up saddling tenants with higher rent burden, cause a spike in prices across the City’s rent-stabilized housing stock, and lead to displacement of our most vulnerable tenants. 

The findings in this report emphasize the importance of an equitable approach to building decarbonization that centers tenants and prioritizes housing and energy justice principles.  

No time to read the full report? Read a summary of the findings in this CalMatters opinion piece, Will the cost of LA’s decarbonization lead to tenant evictions?


The author of the report, Chelsea Kirk, a research and policy analyst at SAJE, joined KCRW’s “All Things Considered” to discuss the possible impact of building decarbonization on tenants in Los Angeles. Listen to it here.


The author of the report can be contacted by email: ckirk@saje.net

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(Published December 8, 2021)