Housing across California has become prohibitively expensive. Nowhere is this more true than in our urban cores, specifically Los Angeles and San Francisco. But even with their notoriously high rents in San Francisco, no city in the entire country is less affordable for the people who work in it than Los Angeles. Even affording to pay “median bottom-tier rents,” according to Zillow, costs working class Angelenos an incredible 121.2 percent of their income. That is a crushing cost for everyday Angelenos.
In AD53 the problem is even more acute — a full 60% of the district has to make ends meet on an income below the level that qualifies for affordable housing assistance from the city, and up to 40% could qualify for federal housing aid through Section 8, but the wait list to get into that housing is more than 4 years. Los Angeles is ground zero for the housing crisis in California, and AD53 is one of the areas hardest hit.
Chris supports the idea of changing the rules around the construction of affordable housing to look at what the poorest among us are making, and working up from there. It’s absurd that “affordable housing” that receives tax benefits and zoning bonuses for developers is still priced well above what working class families and individuals in the neighborhood can possibly afford to spend.
California has allowed our housing stock to stagnate, leaving us with between 3 and 4 million fewer homes than we need to house all of our residents. This shortage has driven prices ever higher, which in turn pushes up rents, and pushes our rent-burdened neighbors into homelessness at a horrifying rate.
Chris understands that in order to build the nearly 600,000 affordable housing units that our city so desperately needs, a new approach is needed in Sacramento. All options must be on the table for increasing this supply:
- Repealing the deeply racist and exclusionary Article 34 of the California Constitution
- Enacting strong renter protections, including repealing Costa-Hawkins, and either repealing the Ellis Act outright or reforming it radically to give tenants a Right of First Refusal to buy out their building and form a co-op or community land trust when their landlord decides to sell the building
- Reforming property tax law in California, specifically tackling the impacts of Prop 13 (passed in 1978) and Prop 6 (passed in 1960) that have resulted in huge tax breaks for corporations and golf courses — it’s time for the public to stop subsidizing the property taxes for fantastically profitable companies like Disney and Chevron, and to stop massively subsidizing country clubs for the mega-wealthy
- Creating a state-level rental assistance program to pick up where the federal Section 8 program falls short
- Establishing a California Public Housing Trust Fund that emulates the success of Red Vienna and builds on the work of the People’s Policy Project
Chris is not taking any money from luxury real estate developers. He can be trusted to fight for fair, inclusive housing policies that protect everyone in California.