Housing Is A Human Right has sent a letter to the Los Angeles City Council, urging them to immediately carry out Measure ULA — a recently passed ballot measure that created funding for affordable housing and rental assistance to address the homelessness crisis. With more than 1,000 unhoused people dying on the streets in the Los Angeles area every year since 2018, Housing Is A Human Right argues that L.A. City Hall can’t wait to implement the initiative.
“Five unhoused people die on the streets of Los Angeles every day,” Susie Shannon, the policy director of Housing Is A Human Right, said in a statement. “We are in the midst of a dire humanitarian crisis that cannot wait while wealthy developers, property owners, and landlords work to stall a ballot measure L.A. voters clearly approved.”
Shannon added, “The city of Los Angeles needs the revenue and proactively can work to ensure funds are in place to meet the costs associated with ULA implementation now while also figuring out permanent solutions should the lawsuit against ULA prevail.”
LAist recently reported that the collection of the desperately-needed funding has been put in “legal limbo” — the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles filed a lawsuit in December to overturn Measure ULA. The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles is a powerful landlord lobbying organization that routinely works to stop tenant protections such as rent control.
The Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance, and Service Employees International United Local 2015 have pledged to the fight lawsuit.
As a response to the article, Housing Is A Human Right sent the letter to the L.A. City Council this week.
“While we understand that there is a legal challenge to ULA,” the letter noted, “Housing Is A Human Right is imploring the Los Angeles City Council to take a risk on its implementation, as we believe that increasing homelessness and approximately five unhoused people dying on the streets of Los Angeles every day are greater risks to our city.”
The letter added, “Given the overwhelming support for ULA at the ballot, the City Council should also explore a bond measure to back-fill any impending deficit in spending should a lawsuit prevail.”
Housing Is A Human Right and its sister organization, Healthy Housing Foundation, have been at the forefront of creating more low-income and homeless housing in Los Angeles. HHF buys old hotels, renovates them, and quickly produces apartments for poor and unhoused residents.
Housing Is A Human Right advocates for the “3 Ps” to address the housing affordability and homelessness crises: protect tenants through rent control and other protections; preserve existing affordable housing, don’t demolish them to make way for luxury housing; and produce more affordable housing.
Housing Is A Human Right and Healthy Housing Foundation are divisions of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the world’s largest HIV/AIDS medical-care nonprofit. We believe that Measure ULA is essential for helping L.A.’s most vulnerable residents.