There was movement this week regarding two motions I recently introduced to address the affordable housing crisis in Los Angeles.
First, I want to express my appreciation to all the stakeholders who came to the Housing Committee, chaired by Councilmember Gil Cedillo, to support the creation of a permanent source of revenue for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF).
I would like to give special recognition to the Corporation for Supportive Housing which did a great job of pulling together a wide constituency of people for the hearing.
In December of last year, I co-introduced a motion with Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, asking City Planning and the Housing and Community Investment Department, to develop new initiatives that will encourage the creation of affordable housing. The motion also called upon the City family to identify a permanent revenue source for affordable housing.
Last month, I co-introduced a motion with Councilmember Cedillo, and asked that we dedicate a portion of the property tax revenue that the City receives on an annual basis due to the elimination of the Community Redevelopment Agency to the AHTF. These funds are referred to as boomerang funds. I believe we need to dedicate at least 25 percent of these funds to the AHTF in order to make a difference.
Affordable housing is a complex issue, so what does it mean to make a difference?
It means that we reduce the rent burden on Angelenos and help close the income inequality gap by providing affordable housing. This will allow people to save for a down payment on a home or obtain a higher education or pay for childcare so they can work. I believe this is how we grow our middle class.
It also means serving homeless individuals, including our homeless veterans. This is our moral responsibility and it is cost effective. According to the “Home for Good” report, the total cost of public services for two years on the streets is $187,288 compared to $107,032 for two years in permanent supportive housing. This is a savings of almost 42 percent.
Affordable housing is economic development and there are success stories all over the City.
I am very proud of the Step Up on Vine development in my district which houses 32 chronically homeless individuals with disabilities. The project utilized an existing blighted hotel and turned it into a community asset.
This is just one of many examples of quality affordable housing in the City. Organizations like Skid Row Housing Trust and Hollywood Community Housing Corporation have been doing this work, and well, for many years.
The committee approved the motions I introduced. The latter of the two motions will head to the Budget and Finance Committee. I will let you know what happens.