What is needed to solve the housing crisis in L.A.

by Pete White of LA CAN (Community Action Network) http://www.cangress.org

Three years ago, we released a community-based assessment of HHH spending and the lack of progress in a report entitled ”All Show, No Substance.” There were several action items listed that would ultimately serve as our organizing agenda. We’ve accomplished many things, but there is still much work to be done. It’s important to note that many of the items we lifted in the assessment would become directions the city would follow.

Here’s a list of 10 things the city needs to do now. Please add, because this list in no way covers everything.


  1. Vacancy Control – over 103,000 vacant units today in L.A. juxtaposed to the numbers of houseless people is criminal.


  1. Convert City-owned property, raw land, and buildings to housing.


  1. Land trusts and long term leases of publicly owned property.


  1. Strengthening tenant protections for all tenants in Los Angeles


  1. Rent Control and Ellis Act reforms


  1. Stop all forms of criminalization that lead to eviction, theft of private property, and death.


  1. Invest in new housing technologies that reduce cost and time to build, convert, and preserve.


  1. Fix the ”soft costs” situation that represents 40% of the cost of building a unit of housing in Los Angeles.


  1. Don’t pit housing and jobs against one another. Summon the political leadership needed to ensure providing work and housing go hand and hand and target those who need it most.


  1. Don’t keep giving money and power to the same commissions, developers, departments, or elected officials, and expect different results. Three damn years is a long damn time to open a unit – its impacts are negligible when viewed against the annual increase in houselessness. Opening doors are essential, but the time it takes to do so can’t be overlooked.
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