Staff Directed to Report on Dedicated Funding Source for Housing

Los Angeles City Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell and Gil Cedillo co-introduced a motion today that directs the Housing Community and Investment Department, Chief Legislative Analyst, and City Administrative Officer to report on a policy to earmark a percent of the tax revenue the City receives from the dissolution of the former Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to support the development of affordable housing.

Under former state redevelopment law, the CRA was required to dedicate 20 percent of its property tax increment revenue towards affordable housing. These funds now go the City’s general fund and have been used to fill budget shortfalls.

As budget deliberations approach, the City has an opportunity to dedicate a portion of these funds to serve as a permanent source of funding for affordable housing.

“The chronic housing shortage and increasing housing rents are making Los Angeles less livable, less sustainable, and more inequitable,” said O’Farrell. “This policy will support the development of new affordable housing and provide opportunities for Angelenos to live in quality housing that they can afford.”

Support is widespread for the creation of new policies that will support the development of new affordable housing units.

“Housing prices are soaring and we must do what we can now to create more opportunities,” said Cedillo, who chairs the City’s Housing Committee. “I look forward to bringing this conversation to my committee and helping to create housing policy that will address our affordable housing needs.”

The motion introduced today was seconded by Councilmember Felipe Fuentes, who serves as the vice chair to the Housing Committee.

In December 2013, O’Farrell and Fuentes introduced a motion that started the process to create new incentives to develop affordable housing in the City. The motion forms an advisory group of specialists in affordable housing, senior housing, homeless housing, veteran housing, and tenant rights. The collaboration will help create and establish new housing incentive programs across the City. [source]

"Corporation for Supportive Housing (CHS) applauds Councilman O'Farrell for taking on the dramatic reduction in affordable housing creation in Los Angeles since the disillusion of redevelopment, exhaustion of Prop 1C bond proceeds, and cuts to the HOME program," said Molly Rysman of CSH. "Los Angeles needs to rebuild the Affordable Housing Trust Fund today if we are going to help men and women experiencing homelessness, children living in poverty, and seniors being priced out of their homes."

Both motions were referred to both Budget and Finance and Housing committees. The items are expected to be heard next month.

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