City Council Unanimously Approves HHH Round Three Funding, Including Chatsworth Supportive Housing

Rendering of planned Topanga Apartments in Chatsworth - via Affirmed Housing
Rendering of planned Topanga Apartments in Chatsworth - via Affirmed Housing

This morning the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved funding the third Measure HHH Call for Projects. Recently-elected Councilmember John Lee, who previously pushed to delay funding for a Chatsworth supportive housing project, voted in support.

The approval sets in motion $347 million in Proposition HHH funding for 35 supportive housing projects (council file 17-0090-S8) including the Affirmed Housing Group’s proposed six-story 63-unit Topanga Apartments in Chatsworth.

At today’s meeting, public comment was strongly in favor of approving the full list of projects. Supporters included San Fernando Valley clergy, who urged the council to support HHH housing projects in every council district. A representative from Affirmed Housing Group spoke in favor, stating that a planned community meeting is scheduled for next week.

Before his affirmative vote, Councilmember Lee emphasized that Council District 12 has “never denied” HHH housing. He further stated that he would hold new CD12 supportive housing to high standards already in place in the exemplary San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission shelter project in his district.

These 35 housing projects still have hurdles to get over before construction, but today’s approval represents an important step toward providing homes for people currently experiencing homelessness.

The council took several actions today to advance health, affordability, mobility, and livability:

  • The full city council acted urgently to stem unintended consequences of newly-approved California statewide rent control law.  New controls go into effect January 1, so some landlords are scrambling to raise rents and evict renters before it takes effect. The council approved two motions. One motion (council file 19-1232), by Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Curren Price, would place a temporary moratorium on no-fault evictions. A second motion (council file 19-1239), by Councilmember Nury Martinez, would temporarily restrict rent increases. The council pushed for these emergency restrictions to go into place as quickly as possible, though the legal language must first be drafted by the City Attorney, then approved by the full council. These new tenant protections are anticipated to return to council for approval within a couple of days.
  • The full council approved HHH funding for the city’s Housing Challenge Request for Proposals (council file 17-0090-S4) designed to foster innovative solutions to quickly and inexpensively build homes for people experiencing homelessness. The challenge funds $120 million for six projects totaling 975 new units of supportive housing.
  • The full council approved a motion (council file 19-1214), by Council President Herb Wesson, initiating a study designed to result in establishing a minimum hourly wage for L.A.’s ride-hail (primarily Lyft, Uber) drivers. Wesson has called for a $30 minimum wage for ride-hail drivers.
  • At the time of this writing, the council’s Energy, Conservation and Climate Change committee is hearing testimony on a motion (council file 17-0447) that would utilize zoning law to effectively phase out oil drilling in the city. Though not widely known, oil drilling continues in many L.A. neighborhoods, with adverse impacts to neighbors. Committee chair Martinez announced that she next intends to work with the Chief Legislative Analyst to develop new motion language for ending L.A. oil drilling. To get involved in efforts to end drilling locally, see S.T.A.N.D. L.A. website.

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