10/29/21 update: on 10/27, the City Council’s Housing Committee approved the housing element without amendment.
10/22/21 update: on 10/14, the City Planning Commission approved Los Angeles’ housing element update with recommendations surrounding strengthening tenant rights and environmental justice. However, our main concern, which is to bring more homes to opportunity-rich Westside neighborhoods, went unanswered.
Under the current plan, neighborhoods like Sherman Oaks, Brentwood, Westwood, Venice, and Westchester would only accommodate 7% of the citywide rezoning plan. This is unfair and illogical, especially given that these areas have extremely high housing costs, widespread single-family zoning, and near-zero housing growth.
The next hearing on the housing element is scheduled for Tuesday 11/2 at 2 PM with the City Council’s Planning and Land Use (PLUM) Committee. The Committee‘s members should insist on bringing more housing to the Westside, especially since it will help to achieve the creation of 300,000 new homes through rezoning, a target set by Council President Nury Martinez and six other councilmembers. See below for details; action items had been updated accordingly.
If you live or work in Los Angeles, now is your opportunity to give input on the city’s housing element! You can view the draft here and/or read our blog post breaking down the draft here. To summarize, LA City Planning did a good job in site inventory analysis and fair housing assessment, and has now committed to a rezoning plan that would accommodate 250,000 more homes, of which 45% would be created in higher-resource neighborhoods. This represents significant progress and an improvement over the status quo, and we commend City Planning for the good work thus far.
But additional improvements and commitments are still needed to make the housing element update successful. For example, the City’s current plan would yield little housing growth in many high-resource Westside neighborhoods, where housing costs are especially high.
🌟Submit a letter to the city council using the tool at the top.
🌟Provide live testimony at Tuesday’s PLUM Committee meeting:
Date & Time: Wednesday 11/2/2021 2:00 PM
Members of the public who would like to offer public comment on the items listed on the agenda should call 1 669 254 5252 and use Meeting ID No. 161 644 6631 and then press #. Press # again when prompted for participant ID. Once admitted into the meeting, press *9 to request to speak. The housing element is Agenda Item 14; committee meetings take public comment at top of the meeting, so you don’t have to wait (YAY!). To ensure your voice is heard, dial in 30 minutes earlier.
Sample talking points (for reference; you have 1 minute):
- The housing element update is our opportunity to build a Los Angeles with lower housing costs, a growing regional economy, greater access to opportunity, and greater socioeconomic diversity. I commend City Planning for the good work on this thus far. But additional improvements and commitments are still needed to make the housing element update successful. For example, the City’s current plan would yield little housing growth in many high-resource Westside neighborhoods, where housing costs are especially high.
- I urge the City to amend the housing element’s rezoning plan and rezone more parcels in high-resource Westside neighborhoods to allow more housing. One approach could be to legalize 8 homes on more R1-zoned parcels in these neighborhoods, outside of environmentally sensitive or very high fire risk areas. This would also help to achieve the creation of 300,000 new homes through rezoning, a target set by Council President Nury Martinez and six other council members.
Every neighborhood needs to do its fair share to fix Los Angeles’ housing crisis, and that includes affluent Westside neighborhoods too. As the City Council prepares to finalize and approve the housing element, let’s not miss this chance to boldly encourage housing affordability throughout our city.
- Westside Los Angeles is a regional employment center. Thousands of workers commute daily into the area. Building more homes on the Westside will relieve these workers from stressful commutes, reduce traffic, and reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.
Tips for giving public testimony:
Tell a personal story, convey emotions, make one point instead of many. Watch an example here.
Can’t give comments live? Send in a written comment here.