Call To Action: LA County Considers Big Investment In Housing Next Tuesday

Homeless_Man.jpgLA is experiencing one the worst housing crises in our history, and the combination of rising rents and falling incomes is wreaking havoc on low-income people. In January, more than 15,000 families getting CalWORKs and 53,000 individuals getting General Relief were homeless — that’s more homeless people in the county than the entire population of Inglewood, or Burbank, or Santa Monica. LA County has the highest poverty rate in California at 26%, according to the Public Policy Institute of California), and incomes and rents are so out of whack that we have a shortage of over a half million affordable rentals, just in LA County. And 3 out of 4 Metro riders have incomes of less than $25,000/year.

On Tuesday LA County Board of Supervisors will consider a motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl to invest county money in building new apartments with rents that are affordable to low income people. (Item 22 on Board Agenda link: One of the reasons the county is stepping up is that it foots most of the bills for the health care and jail time associated with homelessness, and we have learned that it is less expensive to house people than to leave them on the street.
In addition, LA County is taking in more in property taxes since the elimination of local redevelopment agencies three years ago — this is sometimes called “boomerang money.” But with the demise of redevelopment and loss of state housing bonds, annual funding for affordable housing in LA County is down by over $460 million/year since 2008, according to the California Housing Partnership Corporation.

The Ridley-Thomas/Kuehl motion calls for a new Affordable Housing Programs Budget and directs the County Executive Office to find $300 million in new money to fund it over the first five years and $100 million each year after that. More than 120 organizations — including business, health, religious, environmental, services, community and housing organizations — sent in 1,700 letters and postcards in support of this motion.

Below is contact information for the five supervisors and their deputies. We encourage you to contact them to express your support for the motion. If you can also attend the hearing on the motion Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 9:30 a.m. at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, please RSVP at


Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas:

Cc to Karly Katona:


Supervisor Sheila Kuehl:

Cc to Molly Rysman,


Supervisor Hilda Solis

Cc to Angelita Ramirez,

Cc to Maria Cabildo,

Cc to KeAndra Dodds,


Supervisor Don Knabe,

Cc to Nick Ippolito,


Supervisor Mike Antonovich,

Cc to Lori Glasgow,

Cc to Jarrod DeGonia,



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