On 2/22/2022 the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) sent a letter to the City of Los Angeles regarding the status of its adopted 6th Cycle Housing Element. HCD noted that the adopted Housing Element “addresses most statutory requirements.” However, it also noted some deficiencies regarding the need to affirmatively further fair housing (AFFH). These include insufficient metrics, lack of geographic targeting, and firm commitments to implementing AFFH programs.
Abundant Housing LA is a pro-housing, nonprofit advocacy organization working to help solve Southern California’s housing crisis. We support reforms to legalize more homes, make homes easier to build, increase funding for affordable housing, and protect tenants, which are all needed to make housing more affordable, improve access to jobs and transit, promote greater environmental sustainability, and advance racial and economic equity. As a community organization, in order to maintain our independence, we do not accept financial support from housing developers or their consultants.
We have pushed for stronger, more enforceable commitments to AFFH in this plan throughout the Housing Element update process. In particular, we have advocated for a fair share methodology to distribute new zoned capacity across the city’s Community Plan Areas (CPAs), with priority given to creating housing in high-opportunity areas, where 45% of new capacity is currently proposed. The City of LA must ensure that CPAs on the west side do more to accommodate housing demand at all income levels. At the same time, we commend Los Angeles for employing an econometric model to project the realistic development potential of existing sites and sites to be rezoned, along with a promising rezoning program, to create conditions for over 456,000 homes to actually be built during the eight-year planning period. We believe the City of LA has been working in good faith with advocates and the State to incorporate feedback and to create a gold-standard housing element. The City of LA is close to the finish line.
We urge the City of LA to swiftly revise and re-adopt its housing element to affirmatively further fair housing and we stand ready to assist in this effort. Following certification of the plan by HCD, we encourage the City of LA to utilize new tools, such as the CEQA exemption for certain upzoning in SB 10 (2021), to complete the required rezonings by the statutory deadline.
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