Los Angeles County is becoming a transit metropolis: Measure R is providing LA with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create more walkable, bikeable neighborhoods near transit stations as the system is built out – neighborhoods that can help lower the cost of living for all the people who live or work there. With the number of stations virtually doubling in LA County — from 103 to 200 —the connectivity and coverage of the transit system will dramatically improve, and the number of neighborhoods within a 15-minute commute of major employment centers will also increase. This could activate the real estate market around many stations, providing enormous opportunity to improve station area neighborhoods with homes for people with a range of incomes and with walk- and bike-friendly “active environments” that provide easy access to housing and jobs, fresh food markets, parks, schools, and other destinations. This development will help achieve many public objectives, including high transit ridership, more transportation and housing choices, improved access to jobs, improved public health, and improved environmental and economic outcomes for the region. Move LA is committed to finding new sources of funding to ensure that housing and transportation development in station area neighborhoods is equitable.
LA THRIVES EQUITY COLLABORATIVE
Move LA is part of an equity collaborative of organizations concerned about preserving, improving and producing housing that is affordable to people of all incomes, and about promoting equity and protecting the social fabric of neighborhoods. This collaborative, named LA Thrives, includes Enterprise Community Partners, the Low-Income Investment Fund, Reconnecting America, the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, the California Community Foundation and the Liberty Hill Foundation.
With support from HUD and Enterprise Community Partners, Move LA worked with Reconnecting America and SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy) on a downloadable curriculum for a half-day workshop that can be used by community development corporations and community-based organizations working in neighborhoods around transit stations. Called the TOD University, there are PPTs on TOD, “Planning 101,” housing, economic development, and complete streets, with group exercises, pop quizzes, and more! Files available in late August at the link below.
MOVE LA’S HOLLYWOOD CASE STUDY
When three subway stations opened on Hollywood Boulevard in 2000, the legendary neighborhood was on the skids, with gangsters, prostitutes, “no-tell motels” and crack houses, and bewildered tourists wondering where the glamor had gone. A dozen years later and Hollywood’s star has risen again – one measure is that property taxes collected by the redevelopment agency in 2010 were six times what they were in 2000. Should we praise or blame the subway for gentrifying Hollywood? And what are the lessons learned for other neighborhoods as LA embarks on the biggest transit expansion in the U.S.?
Move LA Case Study of Hollywood
LAHD’S TOD/HOUSING PRESERVATION STUDY
This 2012 City of LA Housing Department study highlights concerns about the effect of the new transit lines on affordable housing in transit-rich neighborhoods, which currently house a high percentage of low- and moderate income workers and their families. Neighborhoods bounded by Hollywood, Koreatown, downtown LA, and Venice Boulevard to the south, for example, include hundreds of thousands of affordable apartments and homes. Many are covered by the city’s rent control ordinance and others are government-subsidized income-restricted apartments and homes covered by contracts between the government and the property owners — and in just this small subset of LA neighborhoods alone 6,200 contracts are set to expire in the next five years. The study concludes that the preservation of existing affordable housing near transit lines is critical.
Preservation in Transit-Oriented Districts
CAP AND TRADE PROGRAM
Move LA believes that the state’s new greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program could be an important source of funding for transit operations, for bike and pedestrian projects, and for housing that is affordable to lower-income households. Lower-income households show the highest propensity to own fewer cars and to take transit — and produce up to 65 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions. Because transit and affordable homes are under-built in California, this strategy would also yield a host of co-benefit.
2013 Cap and Trade Sign-On Letter