Councilmember Huizar, ELACC, Latino community say 'No' to Measure S

Latino community speaks out about how dangerous Measure S pretends to punish City Hall, but will really punish renters and workers citywide by cutting new housing supply, raising rents and making L.A.’s housing crisis even worse

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar joined Latino community leaders at the site of 51 units of affordable senior housing near the Gold Line, urging voters to reject Measure S, which would prevent Latino communities across Los Angeles from developing the housing needed to lower rents—but would instead cost thousands of jobs and annually cut a $70-million hole in city budgets.

“The backers of Measure S want to shut down development no matter what, and they’re willing to cut jobs and raise rents to do it,” said Councilmember Huizar. “In just the past few months, Los Angeles has demonstrated that we can build the housing we need and create sensible, transparent planning reform—first by winning the support of 76% of Angeleno voters for Prop HHH, then by funding the city council’s commitment to overhauling its community plans on a timely basis. Now it’s time to say no to a destructive proposal that would stop our housing with no benefit to our plans.”

Measure S’s so-called “affordable housing exemption” has repeatedly been shown to be a sham. Urban and environmental policy expert Mark Vallianatos of Abundant Housing LA has demonstrated that of the 2455 units of affordable housing that would need a zoning change or a General Plan Amendment proposed in Los Angeles over the past 5 years, 95% of it would be blocked by Measure S. This is on top of the 9 out of 10 city-owned affordable sites that would be permanently banned because they need General Plan Amendments. In a city grappling with a crisis of homelessness, rising rents and slow building rates that lag behind demand, losing those units would make the problems affecting affordability in the city even worse.

"The housing crisis has already forced many low income families out of the neighborhoods they grew up in, and Measure S will make the situation worse,” said Isidro Cerda, a board member of Multicultural Communities for Mobility, which advocates for walkable, sustainable communities. “Rather than pulling a drowning person out of water, Measure S shoves their head further down, forcing families to move further and further from the centers of employment in search of housing they can afford.”

A historically diverse and broad coalition is standing up against Measure S, a deceptive housing ban that pretends to “save neighborhoods” but would actually raise rents, rob L.A. of more than $2 billion in economic activity, 24,000 good-paying jobs, and more than $70 million from the city budget, cost L.A. workers $640 million per year in lost wages, force development into neighborhoods by blocking construction on transit corridors, and deepen the city’s affordable housing crisis.

"Measure S threatens our vision for an inclusive, diverse and sustainable city,” said Mariana Huerta Jones of the Alliance for Community Transit (ACT-LA). “Limiting dense, low-cost housing near transit will disproportionately harm low-income communities of color and immigrant families -- pushing residents further out of the city and making it more difficult for them to access quality public transit. Our community members deserve a stable home and the ability to stay and thrive their communities"

“It’s this simple: if the children growing up here today will have a chance to live here tomorrow, our neighborhoods need hundreds more affordable homes,” said Isela Gracian, President, East LA Community Corporation, which has developed 24- and 32-unit affordable apartments using the tools that Measure S would ban. “Planning and development have not been kind to the Eastside—we’ve had hundreds of apartments, homes dismantled without replacement dating back to the construction of the freeways. The time to replace it is now, and we need the same planning tools that Measure S would ban.”

“Measure S would make it harder for people in our community waiting for housing to open up,” said Amparo Chavez Gonzalez, a community leader with LA Voice, a coalition of faith-based organizations, “Many people already have to make choices between medicine, feeding their children, and paying the rent. Measure S would put those children at risk of being homeless.”

“For a generation, Los Angeles has failed to build enough housing at every level,” said Margarita Amador, Board Member, Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council. “Today we have too few vacant apartments, giving landlords the freedom to charge sky-high rents and giving us the least affordable housing in the United States. With no new homes available, wealthy buyers move into neighborhoods like Highland Park, Echo Park and Boyle Heights that were once home to working-class and immigrant communities. Measure S will drive more evictions and more displacement. Vote no, and let’s continue to build the affordable housing we need.”