L.A. Mayoral Candidates Tackle City's Housing Troubles

At a forum held last week, candidates to become L.A.'s next mayor outlined their approaches to tackling the city's most daunting housing challenges - from homelessness to the need for more affordable housing.
January 14, 2013, 10am PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Against the backdrop of diminished federal funding for affordable housing, and the elimination of the city's redevelopment agency, the three top candidates vying for L.A.'s mayoralty all promised "to make housing policy a central focus for their administrations," at a recent event hosted by Housing for a Stronger Los Angeles, reports Maeve Reston.

"Though there was little policy daylight between them," each candidate focused on an approach that highlighted their prior experience.

"City Councilman Eric Garcetti renewed his ambitious pledge to end homelessness in Los Angeles, rather than 'manage it.'" He also pledged "to build more housing projects that bring lower- and middle-income Angelenos together, citing the example of the W Hotel project in Hollywood, where he negotiated for more than 20% of the units to be reserved for lower-income residents."

Councilwoman Jan Perry said "she looked forward to wielding three powerful tools at the mayor's disposal: land use and zoning regulations, and three seats on the county's Metropolitan Transportation Authority board" to "replicate citywide her achievements getting affordable housing units built in the disparate communities of downtown and South L.A."

"And City Controller Wendy Greuel argued that her experience as a former federal housing administrator, as well as an aide to former Mayor Tom Bradley on housing and homelessness issues, would help her expand L.A.'s share of housing funding to reach a broader spectrum of city residents."

According to Reston, all of the candidates "said that they were committed to restoring the city's Housing Trust Fund to $100 million and that they would have a deputy mayor devoted to housing issues."

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Published on Saturday, January 12, 2013 in Los Angeles Times
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