Annual Report, 2020
Despite serious challenges during this tumultuous year, Abundant Housing LA kept up the fight. And won many great successes. Here are some highlights from this year!
A message from Leonora
What a year. It has certainly been one of challenges, but one of exciting changes and success. This year, Abundant Housing LA welcomed three new staff members for a total of four. Rod, Anthony, and Esteban joined me as full-time members of this team, and together with you, we’ve continued to be on the forefront of the fight to end the housing crisis.
Our new slogan captures the spirit of our work this year and for the future. This is a full-fledged movement now, and we’re leading the charge. Through new collaborations, new chapters, deepening engagement with our supporters, dedicated staff and interns, and a new action fund, Abundant Housing LA is on track to become a major force for housing change. Our mission of achieving housing justice is fundamental to so many other movements for justice. This year, we’ve translated that shared vision into concrete progress, and it’s only up from here.
This year, our advocacy has again produced results that will no doubt mean more homes for LA’s millions of vulnerable families being crushed by the crisis. We successfully advocated for SCAG to move the RHNA process forward, leading to 1.4 million homes planned for in job-rich coastal areas. In addition, we have begun the housing element advocacy process, and sent letters to almost every city in LA County about how to plan for their housing allocations, fund affordable housing, and address racial and economic segregation. For the City of LA, we’ve unveiled the FAIR Plan, the first-ever proposal for a RHNA distribution within a City.
We couldn’t do any of this without everyone who participates in our advocacy, and especially not without our supporters. Thank you for being part of this movement.
AHLA Executive Director
A renewed focus
This year, we saw protests cross the country demanding an end to systemic racism. The fact is that housing justice is fundamental to many other struggles for justice. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the housing crisis. In June, we made it clear that racial justice is at the core of Abundant Housing LA’s mission. Read our statement here.
An expanding presence
In 2020, 647 people took action with us for the first time. That’s 647 new people who have committed to the pro-housing movement. Overall, 1,216 people have joined our contacts list.
Through our letters and petitions, a total of 2,605 actions were taken by pro-housing activists for AHLA.
We also made use of paid advertising to amplify our message. On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, our ads received a total of 1,006,859 impressions.
We’ve also expanded our collaboration with other organizations. Among the organizations we worked with this year are:
- Healthy LA – a coalition of 330 advocacy organizations and other groups working for a just recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
- Re-Imagine LA County – a coalition of advocates, community organizations, and neighbors supporting Measure J to prioritize health, housing, and jobs.
- Climate Resolve
- Center for Biological Diversity
Some highlights from our media presence in 2020
This year, Abundant Housing LA established local chapters across LA county, making the pro-housing movement local! So far, we’ve established the following chapters:
- San Gabriel Valley
- City of LA
- Culver City
- Santa Monica
- Friends of the Purple Line
A forward-thinking policy agenda
This year we also updated our Policy Agenda. Abundant Housing LA believes in centering equity and racial justice within our work, and ending single family zoning and opening up exclusionary communities is a major focus of our advocacy. Last year, we released our policy agenda with a holistic housing approach. We laid out policies supporting zoning reform, streamlining, funding for affordable housing, innovation in construction, and renters’ rights. While the policies that help create housing abundance– especially zoning and land use reform–remain our primary focus, we work with and recognize leaders in affordable housing and renters’ rights.
In the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it’s important that we revisit our policy agenda, especially in the context of racial justice and equity.
A time for action
We launched an action fund! This year saw a huge accomplishment for the pro-housing movement in LA. The Abundant Housing LA Action Fund launched as a 501(c)4 arm. Through that organization, we can promote policies and lobby leaders that together will make the sweeping changes Los Angeles and California need to end this deepening crisis.
They endorsed a slate of pro-housing candidates in time for the November elections. 20 were elected!
Check out the website to learn more.
Our events this year received 1,072 RSVPs, and were attended by 628 people. Some of our favorite events included:
Building a fairer LA
We also rolled out our FAIR LA Plan. This ambitious plan is the product of collaboration with our friends at Pacific Urbanism. It offers up a bold new vision of what LA could be: a city with homes in high-opportunity areas, where all people can afford to live near their jobs and schools.
2021 holds a lot of promise for our movement. Our work on the Housing Element Updates happening across the county is only just beginning. We’ve launched petitions in dozens of cities, and have launched organizing efforts to garner the signatures needed to send a clear message to local leaders: more homes for LA.
Some of the other things on our agenda for next year include:
- Equitable housing development: strong focus on medium density apartments, which are more affordable per unit, spreading out density, displacement protections, and funding for affordable housing
- Racial and economic justice: addressing historic racial and economic segregation with on-the-ground data, bringing awareness to these issues in housing planning
- Affirmatively furthering fair housing (AFFH): Pushing for cities to open up exclusionary neighborhoods of opportunity by fairly distributing lower-income RHNA
- Accountability for cities: Data-gathering, research, and projections to make sure that cities are successful at planning for their RHNA.
- Advocating for more diversity and representation in input