For Immediate Release
Jeannette Brown jbrown [at] scanph.org
Laura Raymond lraymond [at] allianceforcommunitytransit.org
Rick Coca (Huizar’s office) rick.coca [at] lacity.org
For the first time since the founding of Los Angeles, City Councilmembers voted to create the city’s first dedicated revenue source for affordable housing. With the historic vote today, Council adopted the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee (linkage fee), which will double the city’s annual affordable housing production for those most in need. Passage of the linkage fee reflects a spirit of broad cooperation and unity among community-based organizations and public-sector leaders concerned about meaningfully addressing the city’s housing and homelessness crises. After two years of campaigning for passage of the linkage fee, the Coalition for a Just Los Angeles applauds the council’s approval of a critical tool to support the construction of affordable housing in a city facing a deficit of 32,000 units of housing for low- and very low-income residents.
The Coalition for a Just Los Angeles’ successful campaign efforts are an unprecedented, city-wide collaboration among community organizations and advocates, affordable housing developers, and civic and religious leaders committed to advancing public policies that make a more inclusive and just Los Angeles, including the prevention of homelessness for thousands of Angelenos burdened by ever increasing housing costs. After Councilmember Huizar led an effort to approve a draft ordinance in October, the draft ordinance was waived out of the City's Housing committee in late November, thereby setting up a final vote today by the full city council. The Coalition is particularly grateful for the committed support of Councilmembers José Huizar and Marqueece Harris-Dawson in advancing the ordinance to a final vote.
“The Coalition for a Just Los Angeles advocated tirelessly for two years because we want to see a more inclusive and just Los Angeles, where everyone can afford a home,” said KeAndra Dodds, Senior Program Director of Policy and Special Initiatives at Enterprise Community Partners. “We’re proud that our city will join the ranks of other major cities across the country with a permanent source of local funding for affordable housing. We thank the City Council and Mayor for their leadership in passing the linkage fee, and call on them to continue to take bold actions to pass more successful housing policies.”
“With today’s vote, the City of Los Angeles is telling Angelenos when it comes to much-needed affordable housing ‘we hear your concerns, we see your concerns, and we are stepping up to address your concerns,’” said Councilmember Huizar. “The City has long-needed its own funding source to ensure that our residents and families who have lived in Los Angeles all their lives, can continue to call the City that they love home. Our primary goal is to provide hundreds of millions of dollars to keep people in their homes and protect affordable housing covenants set to expire, as well as to build new affordable homes for workers and families. It’s been my honor to craft this policy along with my colleagues on the City’s Planning Committee, and I applaud the City Council, as well as the Coalition for a Just LA and Mayor Garcetti for their support.”
A permanent source of local funding for affordable housing is just the first of many steps in the pursuit of greater equity in Los Angeles, so the Coalition will continue to play a leading role in advocating for policies that ensure Los Angeles remains a vibrant mix of communities with greater access to safe, affordable housing. Among the Coalition’s priorities will be holding the City Council accountable so that the linkage fee’s funds are collected and revenues allocated as soon as possible. Additionally, the Coalition commends Councilmembers Mike Bonin and David Ryu for their motion and will continue to seek an increase in the high-market residential fee to maximize resources available for affordable housing.
“Today the City Council affirmed that our city’s leaders will not stand by as Angelenos suffer from the housing and homelessness crises. Approval of the linkage fee shows a true commitment to our most vulnerable neighbors and will greatly support the well-being of our city. Every Angeleno deserves a dignified home and the linkage fee’s permanent, local funding will address the City’s enormous need for affordable homes, thereby creating a more inclusive and just Los Angeles.”
–Seamus Hurley, LA Voice leader
“As a resident of affordable housing, I know firsthand the importance of policies that allow people like me to escape substandard and/or unsafe conditions. I thank the City Council for supporting the linkage fee, which will provide more Angelenos access to a safe and affordable home. All Angelenos deserve to prosper in their communities, which is only possible if our city’s leaders support affordable housing.”
– Daisy Villa, resident of Little Tokyo Service Center
Coalition for a Just LA – https://sites.google.com/scanph.org/coalitionforajustla | @JustLACoalition