Communities United for Jobs and Housing, a growing coalition of affordable housing developers, community leaders, climate activists, transit advocates, and elected officials, has formed to oppose efforts by no-growth activists to pass a November ballot measure that would severely curtail, among other things, the city’s ability to address Los Angeles’ worsening housing shortage.
Nearly 40 people and organizations have begun to coalesce around stopping this initiative, spearheaded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, which seeks to freeze in place the auto-centric and sprawling growth model of yesteryear
(BREAKING: Father Gregory Boyle, director of the nonprofit Homeboy Industries, was quoted as a high-profile endorsement of the initiative in a recent L.A. Times story. He has rescinded his support of Weinstein’s initiative, according to the L.A. Times).
“If this initiative passes, construction of affordable housing in the city of Los Angeles would grind to a halt,” said Robin Hughes, president & chief executive officer for the affordable housing provider, Abode Communities.
“This measure strips away essential and established processes and procedures for the approval of vital affordable housing developments, and would significantly contribute to the ongoing affordable housing deficit here in Los Angeles,” she said.
In addition to seeking a two-year moratorium on all development, one of the main goals of the proposed initiative is to eliminate the practice of city officials granting individual projects general plan amendments, usually for additional height and density or parking reductions. But without that practice, Hughes said about half of Abode’s projects, which provide homes for households making 60 percent or less of L.A. County’s area median income, would never get built.
To get a better idea of what that means, in 2015, L.A. County’s area median income for a household of four people was $64,800, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development. In order to qualify to live in one of Abode’s projects, a household of four people would have to make less than $38,880 a year.
Providing housing for working people to be able to live near to the jobs where they work is vital, said Hughes, and preventing affordable housing from being built in jobs-rich areas would only result in increased commute time for workers and more time away from their families, not to mention more congestion on the streets.
What’s more is that the measure would also continue to squeeze the middle-class by severely restricting the amount of housing that could get built in L.A. in general, Hugh said.
“The way in which the measure is written now and its constraints… would have a significant impact on residential construction overall,” she said. Read more…