LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin will propose a vacancy tax Tuesday. The so-called Empty House Penalty would impose a fee on landlords with empty units.

The 2010 Census found more than 200,000 housing units in Los Angeles County sitting empty, more than triple the amount needed to house every homeless person living on the street. 

While housing construction is up in Los Angeles, Bonin said it will be impossible for California to build its way out of an affordability crisis. 

“It’s time we had a vacancy tax,” Bonin said. “We have a glut of luxury housing in Los Angeles. A lot of these developments are being built and they’re investments for people, mostly foreign investors, and we have units that stay vacant most of the year.” 

Bonin’s proposal would also seek ways to enforce certain laws regarding units that are kept off the market.