Tenant activists are urging Los Angeles leaders to make sure that renters facing harassment or eviction can turn to a lawyer for help.

At a news conference Thursday outside City Hall, a coalition of tenant advocates and community activists pressed for the city to move forward with a “right to counsel” ordinance and called on Mayor Eric Garcetti to allocate $10 million to assist tenants in his upcoming budget.

That money would go not only to legal aid, they said, but also to education, outreach, and emergency payments to help keep struggling renters in their homes.

“This is such a dire need right now,” said Chancela Al-Mansour, executive director of the Housing Rights Center. “Without representation, tenants have almost no hope of winning” in court.

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