LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Residential rental units in Los Angeles would be required to have cooling appliances, such as air conditioners, under a motion introduced Tuesday by City Council President Nury Martinez.

Citing the past two weeks of record heat in Los Angeles — with temperatures in the San Fernando Valley reaching up to 110 degrees — Martinez's motion seeks a report from the city's Housing Department on options to amend the city code to require "sufficient cooling apparatuses" in rental units.

"Two weeks of almost 100-degree temperatures is not normal for our city, and while we're doing our best to fight climate change in the long-term, we have to address how it's affecting Angelenos right now," Martinez said. "Our city needs to be prepared to provide relief during these times of extreme heat. This is becoming a matter of life-and-death, especially for low-income families in older housing units."

Residents in low-income neighborhoods are more vulnerable to extreme heat. The northeast San Fernando Valley, the Harbor area and South Los Angeles record more emergency room visits during heat waves than the rest of the city, according to a Climate Vulnerability Assessment report cited in the motion.

"The lack of cooling appliances directly impacts our most marginalized communities, making them vulnerable to the extreme heat our city is facing," said Councilman Curren Price, who seconded the motion. "There is no time to waste, climate change is real and we must utilize every tool available to preserve our quality of life for future generations."

The motion also sought reports from:

  • the Housing Department, Chief Heat Officer and Climate Emergency Mobilization Office on how extreme weather and climate change will affect primarily older housing units
  • the city attorney on how the city can help tenants without air conditioning for an "unreasonable period of time"
  • the Department of Water and Power on resources and programs assisting low-income households with energy bills during extreme weather events
  • the City Administrative Officer on funding sources to assist low- income households during extreme weather events