Hundreds of millions of dollars will be coming to Southern California from our federal and state governments following passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, providing funding that can be used for many things including planning and building housing that reduces vehicle miles traveled. This presents an opportunity for us to restart the very popular online conversation we had in 2020 about Boulevards of Equity and Opportunity, with the goal of building more housing near transit.
Our program will look at the opportunities to create Boulevards of Equity and Opportunity in Southern California with medium-density, mixed-use, mixed-income housing along major corridors served by high-quality bus rapid transit or rail. A key goal will be to ensure this development does not displace LA's most vulnerable residents.
The tools at our disposal include:
- Enhanced infrastructure financing districts or EIFDs, which are a tool to fund economic development projects utilizing tax increment financing or TIF. TIF has historically been used by redevelopment agencies to provide funding for infrastructure improvements, land assembly, housing and other projects in redevelopment areas. (Redevelopment agencies were dissolved by Gov. Brown in 2012 to preserve funding for core public services.) TIF works by freezing tax revenues and diverting forecasted tax revenue (known as tax increment) to pay for improvements and/or pay back bonds.
- Land banking, the practice of buying land as an investment, holding it for future use, and making no specific plans for its development.
- Transit-oriented development, a type of urban development that maximizes the amount of residential, business and leisure/green space within walking distance of public transportation, including unique "Park Blocks", modeled after Barcelona's Superblocks.
Move LA has been working on this idea for several years, beginning in 2018 when we sponsored Sen. Ben Allen's SB 961 to create a new kind of enhanced infrastructure finance district (called NIFTI-2). The goal was to find a way to fund transit and affordable housing, and in 2020 Move LA hosted a forum on this topic with one of our largest audiences ever.
With this program, we hope to give an update on the opportunities in Southern California to create affordability, sustainability, and livability so that everyone can thrive. After hearing from Secretary Casto Ramirez, David Kersh, Executive Director of the Carpenters/Contractors Cooperation Committee, will frame the panel discussion with:
- Sasha Kergan, Deputy Secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency
- Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, CEO & President of the Center by Lendistry
- Fernando Dutra, Metro Boardmember and Whittier City Councilmember
- Jenna Hornstock, Deputy Director of Planning and Land Use at the Southern California Association of Governments
- Martin Reyes, Senior Deputy for LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis