Monday, December 1, 2008

City Council Committees Move Mixed Income Forward & Adopt Housing L.A.'s Recommended Draft Instructions

City Council Committees Move Mixed Income Forward & Adopt Housing L.A.'s Recommended Draft Instructions (Updated November 2008)

On Wednesday, November 19th, over 100 community leaders, labor allies, clergy, and Housing L.A. endorsers attended the joint Housing, Community and Economic Development (HCED) and Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) hearing to pressure council members to instruct the Planning Department to draft the strongest Mixed-Income Housing Ordinance (MIHO) possible.

The day before the hearing the Los Angeles Daily News published an opinion piece by Housing L.A.'s Honorary Co-chair Laura Chick (Click to read the Op-Ed). In addition, over 35 organizations wrote letters in support of mixed income to the committee members (see below for a complete list).

Back in October Councilmembers Wesson and Reyes introduced motion calling for the Planning Department to draft a mixed-income housing ordinance.  Housing L.A. turned out in full force to strengthen the instructions and support the motion moving forward.  Housing L.A. also successfully pushed for a mixed-income policy that will produce homes at a range of incomes in all parts of the city, preserve apartments with modest rents, and be robust enough to have a significant impact.

Council members listened on as speaker after speaker urged the city to adopt these recommendations and testified to the critical need for producing and preserving affordable homes throughout Los Angeles. Labor allies giving excellent testimony were: Maria Elena Durazo of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, Tom Walsh of UNITE HERE Local 11, Kevin Norton of the International Brother of Electrical Workers Local 11,  Desmond Murray of the California Nurses Association, Teresa Sanchez of SEIU 721, and Robert Smith of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. In addition a number of people representing other Housing LA coalition members testified, including: Donna Rodriguez of ACORN, Ollie Jones of POWER, and Sr. Karen Collier of LA VOICE, Roxana Tynan, LAANE; Alicia Lara of the United Way of Greater Los Angeles; Larry Gross, Coalition for Economic Survival; Maria Tejada and Bilal Ali, Coalition LA; Ann Sewill, California Community Foundation; Grace Dyrness and Suzanne Kite, LA Coalition to End Hunger & Homelessness.  Also testifying in support were representatives from the LA County Democratic Club, the Justice & Peace Commission of the Archdiocese, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, LA CAN, and Union de Vecinos.  All speakers showed great passion as they called for a strong mixed-income policy to help create neighborhoods that work for people from all walks of life.

In addition, former neighborhood council member Molly Rysman submitted a letter of support for a Mixed-Income Housing policy signed by 35 current and former members of neighborhood councils.

After hearing the compelling testimonies of these individuals and witnessing the presence of our broad coalition, PLUM Chair Councilmember Ed Reyes proposed adoption of the Housing L.A. recommendations.  Committee members all agreed, voting unanimously to adopt the recommended instructions.

The Planning Department now has 90 days to report back to HCED and PLUM with a draft mixed-income ordinance.  Housing L.A. thanks all our supporters and endorsers who submitted letters, turned out, and testified - all of which were instrumental in the success of the hearing.

List of organizations that submitted letters in support of a strong mixed-income housing ordinance:

A Community of Friends
Abode Communities
Adat Ari El
Blessed Sacrament Cathlic Church in Hollywood
California Community Foundation
First Baptist Church of Los Angeles
Green LA Coalition
Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church
Inquilinos Unidos
Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance
McCormack, Baron & Salazar
O.N.E. Company
Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish
Path Ventures
People Organized for Westside Renewal
Ron Milam Consulting
San Fernando Valley Interfaith Council
St. Agatha Church
Thai Community Development Center
The Peace Center of United University Church
The Ring Group
Trinity Episcopal Church
Valley Economic Development Center
Venice Community Housing Corporation
Verde Coalition
Watts/Century Latino Organization
West Angeles Community Development Corporation

*This text was copied from
Will Wright,  Director of Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects / Los Angeles
3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213)639-0767 fax

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