On Tuesday, the Board adopted the Sheila Kuehl/Mark Ridley-Thomas comprehensive affordable housing plan with an unprecedented financial commitment growing to $100 million annually to build and rehab low and very low-income housing.
The plan creates an Affordable Housing Programs fund, beginning with $20 million in Fiscal Year 2016-17 and scaling up to $100 million annually by FY 2020-21 with at least 75% of the funds dedicated specifically to building new or preserving existing affordable housing. This new money will be dedicated to creating and operating both short and long-term affordable housing for a variety of vulnerable populations.
“Today our Board took a bold and unprecedented step in making a substantial commitment toward addressing our longstanding affordable housing crisis,” Supervisor Kuehl said. “I thank my co- author Mark Ridley Thomas for his partnership in working to reduce and prevent homelessness by helping to ensure that individuals and families have access to housing they can afford. With this motion, we’re making a great start in that effort.”
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said, “The current pace of public investment is simply insufficient,” noting that “We can meaningfully address this crisis, but doing so will require a comprehensive strategy and scaled-up investment, which must be implemented with urgency.”
The Kuehl and Ridley-Thomas’ plan requires new funding for new programs, not merely re-purposing existing money or supplanting current housing programs.
Prior to the vote, Robin Hughes, President of Adobe Communities, which operates 34 affordable housing properties housing more than 6,200 residents, came out in strong support, saying “I applaud Supervisors Kuehl and Ridley-Thomas for their leadership in addressing the housing affordability crisis in Los Angeles County. Their plan is an unprecedented investment in creating homes for extremely low and low income families, seniors and chronically homeless individuals. It is the right opportunity today to make a significant difference in making Los Angeles County more affordable. “
The motion also:
- Creates an Affordable Housing Coordinating Committee, comprised of representatives from various County departments, ranging from the Chief Executive Officer and County Housing Authority to various health, social service and law enforcement agencies
- Initiates an Annual Affordable Housing Outcomes Report, offering policy recommendations, gap analysis and outcomes information on all of the County’s various affordable housing investments and programs.
Kuehl said she expects County officials to return within five months with detailed plans for establishing the housing fund, identifying sources, and refining the metrics behind the annual affordable housing report.