Affordable Housing Coalition Strongly Opposes Measure S Ballot measure threatens recent progress on affordable and homeless housing

Today, 22 affordable housing, tenant’s rights and environmental organizations issued the following statement:

We are a coalition of housing rights advocates and community groups representing low-income residents in Los Angeles. We work day in and day out to make Los Angeles a city where all people have access to quality, stable housing and the ability to stay and thrive in their own neighborhood. We support responsible development that addresses the needs of low-income communities and communities of color, and that creates quality, affordable housing near transit and good jobs for local working families.

Measure S threatens our vision for an inclusive, diverse and sustainable city. It promotes failed sprawl-inducing planning and a racially segregated Los Angeles where only the well-to-do can attain quality housing. Measure S is exclusionary and aims to preserve the “neighborhood integrity” of wealthy neighborhoods while making it yet more difficult for poor, working and middle class families to afford housing in the nation’s least affordable housing market. It threatens recent voter-approved affordable housing measures, Measures JJJ and HHH, by sabotaging the city’s ability to build critically needed low-income housing. Measure S is a recipe for increased gentrification and displacement.

Banning much of the construction of new housing will certainly impact all Angelenos, but most importantly it will disproportionately harm the most vulnerable families and will further exacerbate homelessness. It is critical for voters to understand that, despite what proponents of the measure say, the language of Measure S does not exempt affordable or homeless housing projects that need a General Plan Amendment. A ban on these projects as the City moves to finally build thousands of apartment units for the homeless would be a grave mistake.

Limiting dense, equitable transit-oriented development will also worsen LA’s traffic congestion and air pollution, as the only alternative will be to double down on low-lying, sprawling developments far from the transit-rich urban core, where it becomes much more difficult for residents to access quality public transit. Forcing low-income residents — who make up the vast majority of LA’s core public transit users — off public transit and into cars has harsh implications for working families’ budgets, the environment, our health and traffic. This is not the future we want for Los Angeles.

By passing Measures JJJ and HHH this past November, Angelenos overwhelmingly voted for solutions to the crippling housing crisis facing our city. Thanks to voters, we are poised to build tens of thousands of new affordable, deeply affordable, and permanent supportive units in Los Angeles. Measure S rolls back this progress before it can get started with a harsh policy designed to benefit the wealthiest Angelenos instead of LA’s majority: renters and workers.

Now more than ever we need to work toward equity, as well as racial and economic justice, and fight against measures that will harm our communities. We urge LA voters to stand with renters, communities of color and low-income residents and vote NO on Measure S on March 7.

Signed,

Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles
Bend the Arc
Coalition for Economic Survival (CES)
Community Health Councils (CHC)
East LA Community Corporation (ELACC)
Esperanza Community Housing
Jobs to Move America
Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA)
LA Voice PICO
Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC)
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)
Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust
Multicultural Communities for Mobility (MCM)
National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Neighborhood Housing Services of LA County (NHS)
Pacoima Beautiful
Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH)
Southeast Asian Community Alliance (SEACA)
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)
Thai Community Development Center
TRUST South LA
Investing in Place

Alliance for Community Transit Statement

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All people have a basic right to a decent standard of living.
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