ACT LA Supports Build Better LA: More Affordable Housing & High Quality Local Jobs
The Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles (ACT LA) is a citywide coalition of thirty-three housing, transit equity and economic justice organizations. We support the Build Better LA initiative because we cannot accept the status quo.
We are extremely concerned about the development of luxury housing near transit that is inaccessible to the majority of Angelenos, especially those who depend on public transit.
The status quo is that our City regularly allows for major giveaways to developers by approving zone changes and general plan amendments with nothing in return. BBLA would add affordable housing requirements – including mandatory extremely low-income units – as well as no net loss policies, high quality jobs and local hire programs on projects that are currently not subject to any such requirements.
Build Better LA does not give developers any greater ability to develop luxury or market rate housing projects. It does not lead to “by right” development or take away any tenant protections. Tenants rights organizations – including those that are involved in ACT LA and fighting for BBLA – can and will continue to oppose projects that are bad for neighborhoods and bad for tenants.
Additionally, the policy ensures no-net loss of existing low-income units, a policy for which many tenants rights organizations have been advocating for years. It does this by requiring the replacement of rent stabilized units, covenanted units, and units occupied by low income people, therefore actively helping to preserve the City’s affordable housing stock at a time when we are rapidly losing affordable units.
Build Better LA mandates housing for extremely low-income households (making at or below approximately $24,000 per year for a family of four), the deepest level of affordability possible. In Los Angeles, the majority of regular transit riders are low income. Thus, Build Better LA will help ensure transit access for transit dependent residents by creating very low cost housing near transit.
ACT-LA understands that Build Better LA is not the only answer to Los Angeles’s housing affordability crisis. Much more needs to be done in the city to protect tenants’ rights and access to housing, transit and good local jobs for low income community members and we look forward to continuing to build a movement that increases the power and self-determination of communities of color and low-income communities in Los Angeles.
We strongly believe that permanent housing for people with the lowest incomes and homeless community members should be a priority. We are committed to fighting against projects and plans that are exclusionary and threaten to displace families. We welcome a discussion with organizations and individuals who are interested in learning more about the Build Better LA initiative and the diverse groups that are supporting it.