Many low-income residents in economically disadvantaged communities that are experiencing an uptick in public and private infrastructure investments are vulnerable to displacement as property values increase and rents rise. Most low-income renters spend over 50 percent of their income on rent, leaving them vulnerable to displacement and at a high risk of experiencing homelessness. To address this housing inequality, today the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion, authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, that directs pertinent County Departments, to report back in 120 days with suggestions on providing families access to affordable housing to avoid displacement in high-risk areas.
“We are most effective in combating homelessness when we build more affordable housing in communities that are at a high risk of displacement,” said Supervisor Solis. “LA County will work to identify gentrifying areas with low-income residents who may be vulnerable to relocating due to increases in housing costs and overall cost of living, and will prioritize affordable housing in those areas. When everyone has a home to call their own, we all have a better chance at a better life. Together, we can strategically work toward creating more inclusive neighborhoods that meet the needs of all residents.”
The County is facing a severe housing crisis. In total, the County needs to add 517,000 affordable housing units to meet the current demand. Further, unincorporated areas of the County will need approximately 90,000 more affordable housing units to meet projected population growth within the next eight years.
Regionally, displacement is a critical issue in communities attracting public and private infrastructure investments, highly skilled workers, well-heeled developers, and large corporations, all of which drive up both the demand for and cost of housing. As a result, low-income residents may be pressured to move to more affordable areas.
Today’s motion supports public and private sector investments in infrastructure, while also prioritizing the need to construct more affordable homes in affected areas. This motion also directs the Chief Executive Office, and pertinent County agencies, to create a mapping tool to identify neighborhoods most susceptible to displacement and gentrification, and to partner with community-serving entities that promote equity building models, such as community land trusts. This motion also directs the County to prioritize working relationships with these community-serving entities so they could build low cost housing on underutilized County-owned properties located in high-risk areas.
In addition, today’s motion requests that County Departments recommend funding streams to increase the construction of affordable housing projects and to preserve existing low cost dwellings, and it also directs the County to establish a right-of-return process for local residents displaced due to large capital investments.
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