Rezoning Downtown — Skid Row included — must include more affordable housing, advocates say

Local groups serving homeless individuals want to see stringent affordable housing requirements

Downtown Los Angeles (credit: Jeff Cleary and Laurie Avocado)
Downtown Los Angeles (credit: Jeff Cleary and Laurie Avocado)

Any rezoning and redevelopment plan for Skid Row and greater Downtown Los Angeles must include more affordable housing and can’t just pave the way for luxury apartments.
That was the word from homelessness advocacy groups and community organizations on Tuesday during a rally, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Representatives from groups including Los Angeles Catholic Workers, Inner City Law Center, and Los Angeles Community Action Network said they want to see new housing in Skid Row to be “deeply affordable,” and for enough housing to be built for all people living without shelter, the Times reported.

To do so, they proposed requiring one of four new rental units built in the coming decades to be reserved for low-income people, far more than the city plans to require in a recently released draft outline of the rezoning.

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Debate over the future of Downtown L.A., particularly Skid Row, has been at a fever pitch since the city released the draft outline earlier this month.

The plan does have stringent affordability requirements for units built in the core of Skid Row, a 50-block area between Downtown’s rapidly changing east side and the Arts District, but local groups want that requirement widened.

The proposal is meant to house all of the 2,700 people living on the streets in Downtown, where a total of 8,000 people are considered homeless.
Under the draft proposal, developers would be allowed to build market-rate housing along the edges of Skid Row and would be eligible for density bonuses if they include some affordable units in those projects. [LAT]Dennis Lynch