Good Housing Projects in LA Need Support!

When supporters of sustainable, equitable growth don’t make their voices heard, Los Angeles loses opportunities to fight back against skyrocketing rents and displacement. City planners are much more likely to hear from people who — for whatever reason — are against particular projects, and if those projects need special permission for approval, that could mean the difference between new housing getting built or a missed opportunity.

Abundant Housing LA knows that good projects need support. Since we started on our mission to support abundant housing in Los Angeles in July, we’ve sent comment letters to LA City Planners in support of more than 1,500 new units, from single accessory dwelling units (garage apartments) to large apartment buildings replacing parking lots. We’ve also opposed a project that proposes to demolish a multi-family building and replace it with a megamansion, resulting in a net loss of homes and displacement.

In some communities, any project is controversial. It is in many of those communities where new housing is needed most. Decades of anti-growth activism on the Westside have made it impossible for many of the people who work there to nearby. Every missed opportunity for smart, equitable housing growth further causes rents to rise, severely circumscribing sustainable housing options for people of all ages.

It isn’t easy to know when certain projects need approvals, but as we grow our grassroots efforts, we will work to help people understand how to navigate the city’s sometimes confusing public input process and help them make their voices heard.

As our housing shortage worsens almost daily, new voices for abundant housing are needed now more than ever.

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What is Abundant Housing?

LA is a great place to live. Thousands of people move here every month from across the world. Some move here for our diverse economic opportunities, some to find a better life than they had elsewhere, and some for SoCal’s climate and natural beauty. As long as there are people who want to make LA their home, for whatever reason, we strive to provide enough homes for all of them. To do this, we need abundant housing of all types, from smaller apartment buildings and garage apartments in established neighborhoods to downtown skyscrapers to single-family housing.

When LA has enough homes to accommodate all those who wish to live here, housing will be more affordable across the entire housing market. However, there will always be a need to provide for those who need it most. Public subsidy should be focused on those most in need, using proven programs to help the very-low income and the homeless.

Abundant Housing LA owes a debt to AURA, which advocates for better housing and transportation policies in Austin, for defining the concept of abundant housing.

LA County’s Housing Shortage

Local opposition to the construction of new housing is a major cause behind LA’s housing shortage and exorbitant rents. But you don’t have to take our word for it. In early 2015, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) studied the state’s high housing costs, and reached the same conclusions. The LAO estimated that Los Angeles County has been running an annual shortage of over 30,000 housing units per year since 1980 – a total deficit of over 1 million units. Join us, and help tackle the housing shortage to make LA a city of abundant housing for all.

Downzoning in Los Angeles

Los Angeles used to be a city where everyone could find housing at a reasonable cost. In 1960, the city’s infrastructure and planning were designed for a population of up to 10 million, and zoning allowed for plenty of housing to be built. Since that time, not-in-my-backyard activists have steadily chipped away at the city’s zoning capacity, and by 1990, there was barely enough room for the city’s growing population. It’s no surprise that we’ve faced steadily increasing rents since that time. High housing costs are a burden on low-income residents, and damage the state’s economy. Join us in support of abundant housing for all, and help make LA a place where everyone can afford to pursue their dreams.