Housing rights workshop to be held in Burbank

Burbank officials will be teaming up with a local nonprofit on Monday to educate the public about the dos and don'ts of being a landlord or tenant.

The city's Community Development Department and Los Angeles-based Housing Rights Center will host a free workshop on housing rights from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Community Services Building, 150 N. Third St., Burbank.


Carla Contreras, an outreach coordinator for the Housing Rights Center, said the workshop will cover various topics, including the rights and responsibilities of a landlord or tenant, discrimination against those who have families, rent increases, evictions, disability rights and repairs.

The event will also touch on the Fair Housing Act and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to let those who attend know how the federal and state governments protect them from different types of discrimination.

Contreras said the most frequent topic that comes up during the workshops the nonprofit hosts is rent control. She added that the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood are among the few in the state that have rent control regulations.

"So you can just imagine that all the other cities other than those, which is a large number, are all worried about rent control," she said. "Los Angeles County is only becoming more populated, so it is an issue that's been talked about greatly."

Marcos Gonzalez, grants coordinator for the city of Burbank, said the workshop is an opportunity for the city to be more proactive about fair housing.

Understanding that there is a housing shortfall in Burbank, Gonzalez said letting those who may be subject to housing discrimination — such as a retired senior who is paying rent through a federal program — know about their rights can help them find housing in the city.

"Many people are being priced out because of their income and perhaps their participation in a federal program," he said.

Maribel Leyland, housing authority manager for Burbank, said it is important for tenants and landlords to understand the rules and guidelines for housing in the state and know where they can go if they have any issues.

She added that the city is fortunate to have had a Landlord-Tenant Commission for more than 30 years to settle disputes or provide additional information to residents about housing rights.

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