As the City of LA updates the Housing Element (“The plan to house LA”) with updated policies and programs to accommodate the production of 456,643 units from 2021-2029 as mandated by the state of California, ACT-LA is calling for the Housing Element and 6th Cycle RHNA to include bold, affirmative policies that will preserve existing affordable housing stock, enact strong protections for renters, and produce affordable housing units at scale.

Take Action:

On Thursday, October 14, the LA City Planning Commission will be holding a hearing on their current draft of the 2021-2029 Housing Element. We are asking our members and allies to come together to call on LA City Planning to adopt more inclusive and community-focused policies in the Housing Element.

Here’s how you can take action to push the City of LA for a bolder 2021-2029 Housing Element:

  1. Sign onto our letter to the LA City Planning Commission by Monday, October 11, 2021 at 11am. We welcome sign-ons from community-based organizations and all members of the community.
  2. Send a one-click email to the LA City Planning Commission by Monday, October 11, 2021 at 4pm. If you can’t access the one-click email, please see below for the sample template:

    To: cpc@lacity.org
    Bcc: contact@allianceforcommunitytransit.org (So we know how many people emailed in!)
    Subject: Item 7 – Comments and Recommendations for LA City’s 2021-29 Housing Element

    Body:

    Dear City of Los Angeles City Planning Commission:

    As an LA resident, I believe that the City of LA itself is at a crossroads where city leaders can choose through LA City’s 2021-29 Housing Element whether and how to advance housing justice in Los Angeles. As city officials, you collectively have a tremendous opportunity to recommend changes in the Housing Element to ensure that Los Angeles grows in an equitable and sustainable fashion: prioritizing historically underserved communities, centering their concerns, and providing for them overdue housing justice in Los Angeles.

    In solidarity with the Alliance for Community Transit – LA (ACT-LA) and other community allies, I stress the importance of placing the concerns of Los Angeles residents that have borne the heaviest toll from generations of failed land use policy and environmental injustice, including redlining and exclusionary zoning, at the center of housing policy strategies. The economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and also the Black Lives Matter movement have showcased for the world people’s interrelated needs for affordable housing, racial justice, and community health. Now, therefore, is the time for city leaders to take action toward a just recovery from the pandemic for all LA residents.

    I urge you to call on the City Planning department to advance racial equity, public health, environmental justice, and community stability through the 2021-29 Housing Element—and to materially benefit communities that have borne the heaviest toll of failed lane use policy and environmental injustice with more and better affordable housing opportunities through the Rezoning Program. I encourage you to read ACT-LA’s full comment letter with six recommendation areas at bit.ly/ACTLAHousingElementLetter915 that are summarized below.

    Preserving healthy, affordable housing for LA residents
    1. Strong tenant protections must be included in the Housing Element to keep LA residents housed including a codified right to counsel, a proposal for a Renter Access Ordinance to ensure everyone can access safe and healthy housing, and the exclusion of residential hotels and any rent controlled sites that would result in displacement, eviction, or destruction from the rezoning candidate sites inventory.
    2. LA residents are in a healthy affordable housing crisis. I urge LA City Planning to declare oil drilling/production a non-conforming use immediately, prohibiting new oil drilling/production within the City of LA, and phasing out existing oil drilling within five years with a just transition for workers and communities.
    3. The draft Housing Element does not adequately address the risks to LA residents of existing and future environmental hazards such as drought, intense heat, wildfires and floods due to climate change. The Housing Element needs to account for climate change projections and require climate resiliency standards in housing as detailed in ACT-LA’s September 15, 2021 letter.

    Producing affordable housing for a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
    4. The Housing Element must honestly acknowledge the history of unjust land use in a way that actively foregrounds policies and programs to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.
    5. City zoning policy continues to segregate LA neighborhoods in the city based on income and race. This legacy of zoning is unjust. The Rezoning Program needs to require onsite affordable housing standards at a range of deeply affordable levels as the City rezones sites in high opportunity areas so as to create inclusive neighborhoods and address the legacy of unjust zoning policy. Simultaneously and separately, the City must continue to invest equitably in historically disinvested areas by promoting community strategies to protect residents from displacement and gentrification.
    6. With acknowledgement of the LA City’s unjust legacies of social banishment, housing commodification, and environmental racism, the Housing Element should include in many of its policies and programs the establishment of social housing, community land trusts, and other housing models that achieve permanently affordable and community-controlled housing.

    Thank you.

  3. Call into the LA City Planning Commission hearing at 8:30am on Thursday, October 14.

    To comment in English, dial: +213-338-8477,,84965005926#. Press # again when prompted for participant ID and enter meeting code: 377316, then then wait a few moments to be placed into the general lobby. When the comment period opens, press #2 to raise your hand.

    To view the hearing while you’re waiting to give comment, click here.
    Full call-in instructions and hearing agenda available here.

    Sample phone-in script:

    Hello, my name is __ and I am with (organization name, if affiliated). As a concerned LA resident, I join the ACT-LA coalition in urging you to call for changes in the Housing Element to ensure that Los Angeles grows in an equitable and sustainable fashion: Prioritizing historically underserved communities, centering their concerns, and providing for them overdue housing justice in Los Angeles.

    Specifically,
    [PICK ONE FROM BELOW]

    A. The Housing Element should include strong tenant protections and programs to protect renters from housing-related harassment, eviction, and displacement. I encourage you to read ACT-LA’s September 15th for a full list of recommendations, which includes calling for a codified right to counsel, a proposal for a Renter Access Ordinance to ensure everyone can access safe and healthy housing, and the exclusion of residential hotels and any rent controlled sites that would result in displacement, eviction, or destruction from the rezoning candidate sites inventory.

    B. LA residents are in a healthy affordable housing crisis. I urge LA City Planning to declare oil drilling/production a non-conforming use immediately, prohibiting new oil drilling/production within the City of LA, and phasing out existing oil drilling within five years with a just transition for workers and communities.

    C. The draft Housing Element does not adequately address the risks to LA residents of existing and future environmental hazards such as drought, intense heat, wildfires and floods due to climate change. The Housing Element needs to account for climate change projections and require climate resiliency standards in housing as detailed in ACT-LA’s September 15, 2021 letter.

    D. The Housing Element must honestly acknowledge the history of unjust land use in a way that actively foregrounds recommended policies and programs. The Housing Element should identify in Chapter 4 the current/past policies/programs that have led to these unjust conditions and the risks of inaction. It should commit the city to a robust community engagement process that centers community needs and reverses decades of racist land use policies. Finally, Housing Element staff should conduct an analysis of the realistic development potential of rezoned sites including an appropriate formula to discount rezoned parcels to ensure that sufficient parcels are rezoned to meet the city’s affordable and multi-family housing needs.

    E. City zoning policy continues to segregate LA neighborhoods in the city based on income and race. This legacy of zoning is unjust. The Rezoning Program needs to require onsite affordable housing standards at a range of deeply affordable levels as the City rezones sites in high opportunity areas. In so doing, the City can create inclusive neighborhoods and address the legacy of unjust zoning policy. Simultaneously and separately, the City must continue to invest equitably in historically disinvested areas by promoting community strategies to protect residents from displacement and gentrification.

    F. LA City’s unjust legacies of social banishment, housing commodification, and environmental racism, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, should beckon City officials and staff into a new age of affordable housing where LA City public policy centers the fulfillment of working-class resident’s housing needs. The Housing Element should include in many of its policies and programs the establishment of social housing, community land trusts, and other housing models that achieve permanently affordable and community-controlled housing. Particularly, the Public Lands program in the Housing Element should prioritize permanently affordable, community-controlled housing models for residents living at a range of deep affordability levels.

    [FOR ALL:] Thank you for your consideration.
  4. Call on LA City Planning to adopt ACT-LA’s Housing Element recommendations on social media (through October 14):

    Twitter
    Link to one-click tweet
    Sample tweet language: This is a critical time for housing justice in Los Angeles. @Planning4LA – Please adopt @all4transit’s recommendations in the 2021-2029 Housing Element so that we can have equitable growth and affordable housing in LA. #Planning4Equity

    Retweet ACT-LA’s daily tweet to LA City Planning every morning at 8am PST.

Read More:

Read our comment letters below with proposed policies and programs as well as recommendations for the site inventory for the Housing Element update.

Posted by act_la