In the first half of 2020, we experienced profound changes to our daily lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has altered where we work and how we learn; how we access basic needs, such as quality health care and testing; and most importantly, how critical it is to have a place of shelter.
The recent deaths of Black and Brown people in the U.S., most notably the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Andres Guardado in LA County, also sparked demonstrations and mobilizations against racial injustice and its pervasiveness across all facets of American life.
All of us at City Planning acknowledge this movement for racial equity, and the need to reexamine how we can improve the lives of ALL residents. This includes:
- reimagining safety and policing
- access to safe and adequate housing
- access to opportunity including good employment, quality education, social services, and health and wellness resources
- access to public spaces that are welcoming
- ability to meaningfully participate in decision-making
For the Plan to House LA, the City of Los Angeles’s update to the Housing Element for 2021-2029, this means having us look towards the future, recognizing that we have to acknowledge our past and present, and address systemic racial and economic inequities.
To meet our housing needs, and in the spirit of the current call for greater racial equity, the planners at the housing element update are working collaboratively with community stakeholders to identify meaningful access to housing and opportunities for all residents.
Worth mentioning for this upcoming Housing Element cycle is the call to action from local governments to comply with AB 686, the only state law in the nation that will affirmatively further fair housing. It defines “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” as taking meaningful actions to:
- combat discrimination
- overcome patterns of discrimination
- foster inclusive communities
- specifies that actions must both replace segregated living patterns with integration and transform areas with racial and poverty concentration
AB 686 draws on the federal Fair Housing Act and legislation established during the Obama Administration that requires federal agencies and departments to establish programs to foster inclusive communities. The Trump Administration recently repealed the Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing rule and replaced it with Preserving Community and Neighborhood Choice.
Thanks to the leadership and work of the State Legislature, as well as our elected representatives at the local level, the Plan to House LA is still advancing a plan in the spirit of the Fair Housing Act, with the goal of creating inclusive and thriving communities.
To learn more, continue to visit Planning4LA.org, and check out our upcoming news and events pages on our dedicated page for the Housing Element Update. Soon, we’ll be sharing with you all our upcoming draft concepts based on feedback we’ve received from our outreach thus far.