California is in the midst of a severe and worsening housing crisis. And it’s a crisis that strikes at the heart of many of the biggest challenges facing Los Angeles. Homelessness and rent burden are at all-time highs, and segregation persists. Years of bad planning practices and opposition to dense housing development have also left us with a rapidly deteriorating environment. Natural habitats are endangered, our air toxic, and our water polluted. At the heart of the interconnected issues that have generated this crippling crisis is exclusionary zoning.
Modern Los Angeles is the product of decades of practices and measures that consistently locked entire communities out. Over time, the laws that maintained these low-rise, expensive neighborhoods also forced a booming population to look elsewhere for housing. LA’s population grew while the opportunity-rich areas on the Westside and along the coast remained zoned exclusively for single-family homes. The city grew outward, aided by increasing reliance on private automobiles for transportation. What that exclusionary housing created is the city we see today: sprawling, segregated, and choking on toxic air. The fact is that in order to overcome many of our biggest challenges, housing must be part of the conversation.
Become a member
Racial and class justice
Segregation persists in LA. Decades of discriminatory housing practices - explicit and implicit - have left communities of color relegated to often underserved areas of the region.
Adequate housing is not simply about affordability, it’s a question of human dignity. Read our statement.
LA’s urban development model is no longer sustainable. The sprawl generated by decades of serious opposition to building housing in opportunity-rich areas of the region such as the coast and the Westside has locked millions into long commutes by car.
Additionally, sprawl into environmentally-sensitive and fire-prone areas has ensured that wildfires continue to pose a threat to property and human life. We advocate for dense development and multifamily housing in more transit-rich neighborhoods because our collective commitment to reversing climate change depends on them.
“The affordability benefit of more housing occurs in other housing.” - Mike Manville
This simple concept explains our belief in the necessity of more and faster housing production for LA. With hundreds of thousands of families facing extreme rent burdens and dangerous overcrowding, more housing is the only solution. In order to achieve that, we work to advance reforms for streamlined processes that make building housing easier and faster. LA’s vulnerable families simply don’t have time to wait.
We also believe in the need to prioritize affordable housing across LA. We advocate for the inclusion of affordable units in new housing development, and for robust funding for affordable housing. This includes urging county leaders to fully support the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (Trust Fund) with $100 million in the annual county budget.
Education and outreach
Abundant Housing LA organizes events that explore the diverse facets of the housing crisis. These large educational events bring speakers together for panel discussions as well as direct engagement with our audience. In addition to these large educational events, we run a monthly Housing 101 session. These trainings offer insight into the history of housing in Los Angeles, as well as an introduction to the work of Abundant Housing LA.
Abundant Housing LA regularly advocates for individual housing projects across LA County. We work with community housing corporations and others to raise awareness about the benefits that those projects would bring to their communities. We’ve developed an internal review process for projects, to ensure that all projects that we support center equity in their proposals through robust tenant protections and affordable units.
Policies and legislation
In addition to advocacy for individual projects, AHLA advocates at the city, county, and state levels for policies and legislation that facilitate building housing. Our policy team tracks and analyzes legislation across these three levels. Check out our Legislation Tracker here.
Training and empowerment
Through our organizing, Abundant Housing LA encourages people to become advocates for housing in their own neighborhoods. We provide training, tools, and guidance to people interested in bringing the pro-housing message to their elected leaders.