AFFORDABLE HOUSING-Through the update of the Hollywood Community Plan, Los Angeles politicians have the opportunity to require the construction of more affordable housing and to protect residents against gentrification.
Instead, city officials are pushing a flawed Hollywood Community Plan that’s a giveaway to developers. It must be stopped.
The Hollywood Community Plan is a comprehensive guide for development in the Hollywood area — from how tall buildings can be constructed to how many affordable-housing units must be included in a new project. Community plans are written for all neighborhoods in Los Angeles, and shape what will be, or won’t be, built in the city. They are extremely important documents that have serious impacts on residents.
LA City Council members have enormous influence over what’s included in community plans in their districts. The Hollywood Community Plan covers neighborhoods that are represented by City Council members Mitch O’Farrell, Nithya Raman, and Paul Koretz.
For the past three months, Housing Is A Human Right has been urging O’Farrell, Raman, and Koretz to do the right thing for their constituents — not just developers. We have attended city hearings, rolled out a strong advocacy campaign, and created a petition that’s been signed by more than 1,300 people who demand changes to the Hollywood Community Plan.
Housing Is A Human Right’s chief concerns are that the Hollywood Community Plan doesn’t require any affordable housing to be built; longtime working-class residents are not properly protected against displacement and runaway, luxury-housing development that fuels gentrification; and residents will largely lose their say over what’s built in their neighborhoods. The Hollywood Community Plan, in other words, is a giveaway to developers.
For too long, L.A. City Hall has bent over backwards to give developers what they want, with devastating consequences. LA’s rents have spiraled out of control, developers suddenly evict tenants to build luxury housing, working-class communities of color are ruthlessly gentrified, and the homelessness crisis has only worsened. Housing Is A Human Right believes we can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
In fact, the Hollywood Community Plan is an opportunity to correct past mistakes and address gentrification, homelessness, and the housing affordability crisis. City Council members O’Farrell, Koretz, and Raman must mandate that a sizable percentage of affordable housing for low-income residents be included in new development; that city-owned land will be developed to provide more homeless housing; that anti-gentrification policies are established; and that residents are allowed to thoroughly participate in the approval process of new development.
Much is at stake with the update of the Hollywood Community Plan. Beyond the Hollywood area, Housing Is A Human Right believes that it will ultimately be used as a template for community plans in other parts of Los Angeles. That’s why it’s crucial that the Hollywood Community Plan must protect, not harm, residents.
We urge all Angelenos to join our grassroots movement to stop the flawed update of the Hollywood Community Plan, sign our petition, and fight for what’s right.
(Housing Is A Human Right is the housing advocacy division of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. We fight for what's right.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.