For Immediate Release: December 7, 2022
LOS ANGELES -- Today, the Los Angeles City Council took a critical vote to support a motion introduced by Councilmembers Nithya Raman, Mike Bonin, and Marqueece Harris-Dawson to establish the the Livable Communities Initiative (LCI) as part of the City's 2021-2029 Housing Element. The legislation directs City departments to report back on strategies that will facilitate well-designed mid-scale development along suitable transit-rich corridors; promote the creation of housing units where they do not currently exist; ensure that qualifying projects invest in community amenities and infrastructure; and introduce financial and regulatory tools to help fund public improvement projects along identified corridors.
Los Angeles is facing an acute housing, climate, mobility, and affordability crisis, making it difficult to build much-needed affordable housing due to speculative land prices and complex development regulations. The LCI will develop strategies to meet these challenges by utilizing innovative land use approaches to create mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods across Los Angeles near jobs and transit. The legislation further directs departments to put together meaningful community- and data-driven processes that can help identify suitable transit-rich corridors and objective administrative development and zoning standards to achieve these goals.
“The Livable Communities Initiative is a sustainable, comprehensive, and equitable plan that will incentivize the City to build critically needed housing, including affordable units, along appropriate transit-rich corridors while also investing in public infrastructure improvements,” said Councilmember Nithya Raman. “I’m excited to continue working with the dedicated advocates whose persistence got us here today to move this vision forward.”
“The Livable Communities Initiative is the way forward for Los Angeles to right the wrongs of decades of exclusionary housing laws, which have made our communities inequitable, our commutes intolerable, and our neighborhoods unaffordable—especially on the Westside,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin, Chair of the City Council's Transportation Committee. “I am so inspired by the grassroots energy fighting for this inclusive vision of safe and livable neighborhoods and proud to have worked with them to move this legislation forward.”
Councilmember Harris-Dawson stated, “Our City government must meet the needs of this moment, and Los Angeles needs solutions to our current housing shortage. The Livable Communities Initiative has the potential to expand housing development and, most importantly, incorporate inclusionary housing requirements. I am glad that we, as a Council, have approved a solution-oriented strategy, and I look forward to the equitable implementation of this policy.”
"We are incredibly grateful to the City Council and so many Angelenos for supporting this vision to create walkable communities near transit that provide a more livable, affordable, safe and sustainable option for less car-dependent lives,” said Livable Communities Initiative Co-Founder Lindsay Sturman. “We hope this plan will address housing, climate, traffic, and street safety all at once.”
“For too long, Los Angeles has failed to build homes that are affordable for our essential workers – our bus drivers, nurses, restaurant workers, those who take care of our children – people who are the engine of our city,” said Ed Mendoza, policy director of the Livable Communities Initiative. “I believe the LCI will help make Los Angeles more inclusive, equitable and inviting for everyone.”
LCI is included as Program 131 of the City’s recently adopted 2021-2029 Housing Element, a state-mandated plan to show sufficient zoned capacity for housing that also outlines strategies for housing production, affirmatively furthering fair housing, and creating mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods across Los Angeles near jobs and transit. The current Housing Element cycle designated a record target of 456,643 new units for the City of Los Angeles, which the City must accommodate by 2029.