By Raymond Nava
Los Angeles Proposition LH would authorize the city to develop up to 5,000 low-income rental housing units in each city council district if passed. Under current law, the city is allowed to develop up to 3,500 units in each district, which is a total of 52,500 units in the city.
The units are used in an attempt to address the homelessness and affordable housing needs. The measure itself would not require the city to actually build or acquire funding for the units. However, should the city choose to start development, the limit of units the city can build would be increased.
The city hasn’t done a good job at tackling the homeless crisis. However, Measure LH tackles a big factor that fuels the crisis. Housing in the state is practically unaffordable to lower income individuals. The more housing the city has at its disposal, the more equipped it is to get people off the streets and into housing.
In 2008, voters passed a measure that set the limit of housing to 3,500 units. The Los Angeles Housing Department reports that the current number is not enough to address the homeless crisis. Since 1969, state law requires all cities and counties to develop a plan to meet the housing needs of their communities. This is known as the “Housing Element” and is required to be updated every eight years.
Los Angeles’ 2021-2029 Housing Element sets a goal of creating 185,000 housing units by 2029. Measure LH, if passed, would allow an additional 75,000 units to be built, bringing the total of possible housing units the city could build up to 127,500. This would be nearly 69% of the goal set by the Housing Element.
Voters should vote yes on Measure LH. One of the biggest root causes of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing. The more housing units the city has available, the more people may be helped and avoid being homeless on the streets. Election Day is this Tuesday and the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.