The $15 minimum wage we worked to pass is historic and it comes as a great relief to hundreds of thousands of people, but income is only half of the equation.
The cost of housing in Los Angeles is out of control, a force far more destructive to hardworking families and communities than crime, disease, or natural disaster.
A house in LA now costs $690,000. Over the last five years, average rent has gone from $1,664 to $2,585. The result is more people living in fewer homes or, worse, on the street. The number of people living in tents or vehicles in our city jumped by 85 percent in 2015.
Last November, voters passed our plan to address LA’s housing crisis. It’s called Prop. JJJ and it works by making developers who want planning and zoning changes to give something back to the community.
Those developers will have to:
- Build affordable homes or pay into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
- Hire local workers who need the jobs most, including veterans
- Build near transit stops
Prop. JJJ is a step in the right direction. Consider this: If Prop. JJJ had been enacted just three years earlier, in 2013, it would have already created more than 11,656 new jobs and 5,522 new homes for low-income residents.
Each day, more and more hardworking nurses, teachers, and firefighters are being pushed further and further away from their jobs in search of cheaper housing.
A big part of the problem is that developers stopped building housing for anyone but the wealthy and that pool is shrinking. You would need to make $104,360 to afford a newly built apartment. This isn’t just a concern for those on the margins. According to a UCLA study, 30 percent of all LA residents have worried about going hungry or becoming homeless in the last few years.
We say enough.
We want to make sure LA is built for everyone, not just the wealthy.