A monthly newsletter published by United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles.
UN4LA's mission is to bring communities together to plan for a sustainable future. Growth must be shaped by community engagement, not developer dollars.
COMMISSIONERS KILL PLAN FOR 577 APARTMENTS IN SOUTH L.A.
In November the South Los Angeles Area Planning Commission voted to uphold appeals asking the City to overturn the approval of a complex containing 577 apartments in South LA. This may (or may not be) the final chapter in the project's long and difficult history. Developer Charles Company initially received strong support from CD 10 Councilmember Herb Wesson. It may be a coincidence that Charles Company co-founder Arman Gabay, his family members and associates, had contributed thousands of dollars to campaign and officeholder accounts associated with Wesson. (Eric Garcetti and Jose Huizar have also received generous contributions from the developer and his associates.) Wesson believed in the project so strongly that he helped the developer win millions of dollars in federal loans. But the Councilmember seems to have had second thoughts about his association with Gabay after the developer was charged by the Department of Justice for having bribed a County official. Wesson cited gentrification concerns in a letter of opposition submitted to the Commission. Could there be other reasons the Councilmember wanted to make this project go away?
Officials Kill Plan for 577 Apartments in South LA
L.A. CITY COUNCIL'S BOASTS OF A BUDGET SURPLUS TURN INTO WARNINGS OF HUGE DEFICIT
Just a few months back the Mayor and members of the LA City Council were patting themselves on the back for delivering a budget that included a large surplus. Somehow that surplus has suddenly turned into a massive deficit. How is this possible? The LA Times breaks it down and asks if the budget process shouldn't be a whole lot more transparent.
What Do You Know, LA Is in Financial Peril Again
INGLEWOOD'S EXECS GOT RAISES AS THE CITY TOOK ON MASSIVE DEBT
And speaking of transparency, was it really wise for the City of Inglewood to cover a deficit by diverting proceeds from a pension obligation bond into the City’s general fund, instead of using the money to pay down pension liabilities? Inglewood took on $36 million in debt without voter approval, then its leadership pumped millions into pet projects and awarded raises to the City’s executives. This story from The Mercury News lays out the details.
How Inglewood Sidestepped Voters When It Took On Millions in Debt to Cover Up a Deficit
AIDS HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION SUES L.A. OVER DENIAL OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING LOAN
Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has filed a lawsuit over the City of LA’s denial of its application for funds to build affordable housing. The non-profit had submitted a proposal to build over 200 units for seniors, LGBTQ persons and people suffering from chronic health issues at the corner of Seventh and San Julian in Downtown. The City rejected the application saying it had already awarded available funds to other applicants, but AHF says the City’s process is unnecessarily complex and opaque. City Controller Ron Galperin shares this view, and in a report released earlier this year his office highlighted the fact that even though City Hall has earmarked $1.2 billion for affordable and permanent supportive housing, no units have actually been completed.
AHF Sues City of LA over Skid Row Project Denial
COUNTY CONSIDERS INVESTING IN LOW-INCOME COMMUNITIES ALONG L.A. RIVER
Los Angeles County has $41 million that it wants to spend to assist low-income communities along the LA River, but deciding how to use the money could be a contentious process. There are a number of issues confronting neighborhoods adjacent to the River, from gentrification to environmental contamination. No doubt a number of communities will want a voice in deciding how to disburse the funds.
County Wants to Spend $41M Fighting Displacement along LA River
L.A . CONSERVANCY WANTS TO STOP ILLEGAL DEMOLITIONS
Illegal demolitions are far too common in LA, and the penalties for knocking a building down without proper permits are far too small. Developers know that even if they get caught illegally bulldozing a building, the fines are minimal. It's just a cost of doing business. The Los Angeles Conservancy wants to change that. Click on the link to learn more.
L.A. Needs Stronger Demolition Deterrents