COMPREHENSIVELY ADDRESSING THE HOUSING CRISIS
Los Angeles’ housing and homelessness crises are massive and interconnected — the only way to address them is with a truly comprehensive, long-term, systems-level approach. In addition to our person-centered approach to homelessness, Councilmember Raman has prioritized fighting for strong protections for renters, preserving LA’s existing affordable housing, and producing more affordable housing in our City.
Preventing Homelessness & Protecting Renters
We cannot meaningfully solve homelessness without doing everything in our power to keep people housed. Councilmember Raman has fought for important protections for renters on a policy level, and worked to empower renters on a community level, to ensure those most vulnerable are able to stay in their homes:
- Protecting Renters From Harassment: Renter harassment can take many forms, including reduction of services outlined by a lease or contract, failure to perform timely and complete repairs, threats of physical harm, and even inquiring about a tenant’s immigration or citizenship status. Councilmember Raman fought to include additional definitions of harassment to the draft Tenant Anti-Harassment Ordinance — a set of bylaws intended to protect renters from the pernicious issue of landlord harassment — in order to expand the ways they are protected. The Ordinance adopted by City Council and effective as of August 2021.
- Empowering Renters To Know Their Rights: Policy is critical when it comes to protecting renters — but it's just as necessary for renters to know what rights. In 2021, we dedicated staff to knocking on thousands of renters’ doors in District 4 to inform them of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)— our team spoke to so many people who needed help but weren’t aware of this program that was offering exactly what they needed.
ERAP’s applications have ended, but LA renters still have important rights and protections around allowable rent increases, evictions, and more. Our office is letting renters know what these rights are, and that we are available to help — both online and in person.
CLICK HERE FOR CD4'S RENTER RESOURCE PAGE
Fostering Inclusive, Affordable, and Opportunity-Rich Neighborhoods
As a planner, cities are inspiring to Councilmember Raman. In the very nature of how cities are set up and designed, they can be engines of economic mobility and opportunity, they can welcome newcomers with open arms, they can be places that foster inclusiveness and diversity. Ensuring Council District 4 and LA at large are designed — with community participation and buy-in at the forefront — to be affordable, inclusive spaces is a top priority for Councilmember Raman.
- Prioritizing 100% Affordable Housing Projects In LA’s High-Opportunity Areas: Only 14% of affordable housing units permitted in the last ten years were located within high-resource neighborhoods, with the majority being built in low-resource and high-poverty neighborhoods. To instill more balance in where our City’s affordable housing is being built, Councilmember Raman introduced a motion to create an Affordable Housing Overlay Zone (AHOZ) to prioritize the affordable housing development in areas with high access to public parks, transit, schools, grocery stores, and health facilities. This motion was adopted by the City Council in 2021, and the resulting report outlining the specific AHOZ plan was adopted by the Council in August 2022.
- Streamlining The Development of 100% Affordable Housing: Only 6% of all housing projects approved in Los Angeles since 2015 have been true affordable housing. To encourage the creation of affordable units that can match the scale of need in the City, Councilmember Raman introduced a motion, adopted by the City Council in 2021, to make affordable units easier and cheaper to build through a fully streamlined approval process, prompting a development of a strategic plan to be brought to the City Council for a vote.
- Exploring Options For 100% Affordable or Permanent Supportive Housing: To effectively solve LA’s homelessness crisis, LA needs more affordable places for people to live. Our office sought out sites for affordable and supportive housing, and introduced motions to explore the feasibility of bringing these sites online. Councilmember Raman’s motion was passed in 2021, prompting a multi-step process to involving several points for community input
Resources & More Information
- CD4 Renter Resource Page: Renters have rights! Learn more about what rights and protections are afforded to you depending on the type of unit you rent, who you can contact for help, and more.
- City of LA Planning Department: Website for the City Planning Department, with information on zoning, development services, community plans, historic preservation, and more.