The Los Angeles City Council voted today to lay the groundwork for creating “anti-displacement zones” around new market-rate or “luxury” residential buildings that contain no affordable units.
The vote directs the city’s housing and community investment department, city planning, department, and the city attorney’s to draft an ordinance that would put in place a battery of protections aimed at helping renters in a one-mile radius around new developments.
The proposal stems from a motion introduced by Councilmember Herb Wesson, Jr.
In his motion, Wesson says that while luxury and market-rate projects are “designed to strengthen” a neighborhood’s economy, many times they have negative consequences for long-time residents, especially when they’re located in neighborhoods that sustained decades of disinvestment resulting from racist housing covenants and redlining.
“Development projects should help to build up an area in need of economic investment so that members of a community can make use of these local amenities and improve their everyday lives,” Wesson says.
The protections would include requiring projects that don’t plan to contain any affordable units to reserve, at minimum, 30 percent of their total units for renters who use Section 8 vouchers. A three-year cap on rent increases around new projects without affordable housing would also part of the zones.
The ordinance would also call for the creation of a new online portal that would help connect tenants with housing opportunities they can afford in their neighborhoods and include an option for tenants and non-profits to purchase residential buildings from an owner.
A status report on the draft ordinance is due back to the council in two weeks.