Coalition mobilizes to support Senate Bill 679

Senate Bill 679, authored by Senator Sydney Kamlager, and supported by nearly 100 organizations, including local cities, community organizations and housing experts, would create a first-ever independent housing prevention and countywide homelessness that unites 88 cities to create affordable housing, prevent homelessness and support thousands of working families overwhelmed by recent rent spike

BALDWIN PARK, Calif. — Members of Our Future Los Angeles (OFLA) coalition met at Baldwin Park City Hall on Tuesday morning with Mayor Emmanuel Estrada to highlight the benefits of the proposed Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA), which would bring new strategies, unprecedented coordination, transparency and increased funding for the creation of affordable housing and tenant support.

Elected officials, clergy and community activists rallied in support of SB 679 as it awaits a vote in the Assembly. Its passage would enable the creation of LACAHSA, an independent, countywide housing solutions agency capable of generating its own public and private revenues to fund systemic solutions to the current affordable housing crisis in Los Angeles.

“The new independent housing agency created by SB679 would provide real resources and support for Baldwin Park residents struggling to keep their homes – it’s critical we pass this legislation now,” said Baldwin Mayor Emmanuel Estrada. Park.

Under the current system, 88 towns in the county must manage affordability issues on their own, creating a patchwork of housing affordability solutions and, in many cases, none. LACAHSA would coordinate a countywide strategy for all 88 cities to join forces to address homelessness in innovative ways.

“The current housing system in place has not done enough to support working families in this region. It hasn’t worked to create housing for low-income people, end homelessness or increase homeownership, said Tania Medina, resident of Baldwin Park and member of LA Voice, a community organization multiracial and multifaith. “With LACAHSA, we know we can do so much more.”

Zeke Sandoval, public policy manager at People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), said PATH supports SB 679 because it creates a powerful new tool to produce affordable housing at the scale needed. “Homes end homelessness. The affordable homes that LACAHSA will build will be a haven for County residents coming out of homelessness and for the millions of housed County residents on the verge of losing their homes,” Sandoval said.

Anne Miskey, CEO of Union Station Homeless Services, which serves more than 3,800 customers in the San Gabriel Valley, said LACAHSA will help create more housing opportunities for their customers, as well as provide much-needed additional funding to the SGV Regional Housing Trust. “Both are necessary resources to help us end homelessness,” she said.

A recent analysis of the housing burden in LA County by the Gender Equity Policy Institute found these statistics striking, underscoring the need to do more to support low-income people in LA County:

-36% of older Latinos living alone have an income below the federal poverty level, or $12,880 for a single adult

-1 out of 3 black women renters spend more than half of their income on housing

-Female-headed households are 4 times more likely than married couple-headed households to have extremely low incomes

SB679 (Kamlager) authorized the State Senate and was approved by all State Assembly Committees. The legislation, which would authorize a new, independent, countywide agency similar to the Metro transit agency, is an ambitious move to bring together all 88 cities and LA County to dramatically increase efforts to create housing affordable for low-income people and help those at risk. homeless people keep their homes. The legislature has until August 31 to approve the legislation, after which the governor must sign the bill. The new agency would begin operations in the spring of 2023.

Norman D. Briggs