New LA Council member who won Huizar’s vacated seat vows affordable housing push

Kevin de León described LA’s homeless and housing situation as “dystopian nightmare unlike anything we’ve ever seen before”

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 16, 2020 10:03 AM
Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de León
Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de León

Los Angeles City Council member Kevin de León, newly sworn-in to fill the seat vacated by disgraced former Councilman Jose Huizar, vowed to speed up the development of affordable housing and work to bring 200 homeless shelter beds to downtown.

De León said he would be a “voice for the voiceless” during pre-recorded remarks as the new Council member for the 14th District, according to the Los Angeles Times.

He won the seat in March and was expected to take office in December. That was moved up to this week after federal law enforcement arrested Huizar in June on a litany of corruption charges tied to development projects.

As part of his video message, the new Council member said he would bring hundreds of transitional housing units to different parts of his district, which includes Eagle Rock, El Sereno and Boyle Heights.

He would also work to remove “outdated rules” governing affordable housing projects,” the Times reported. Already, De Leon said he had begun working with the Department of City Planning “to trim away more than 800 pages of convoluted and unnecessary code written decades ago.”

“When it comes to homelessness and housing affordability, what we are seeing today in Los Angeles is a modern-day human catastrophe, a dystopian nightmare unlike anything we’ve ever seen before,” he said.

De León was a state Senator from 2010 to 2018, Starting in 2014, he served as president pro tempore, the most powerful position in the state Senate. He was an Assembly member from 2006 to 2010.

Following the Huizar scandal, the City Council is trying to rework its real estate development approvals process to close loopholes in the development process that governs the way projects are approved. Huizar had been head of the power Planning and Land Use Committee when he allegedly accepted $1.5 million in cash and gifts from developers. https://therealdeal.com/la/2020/07/31/huizar-indicted-on-34-counts-related-to-bribery-and-corruption-scheme/

Earlier this month, developer Shenzhen Hazens admitted to bribing Huizar for his support, and agreed to pay a $1 million fine. Huizar has maintained his innocence. [LAT]Dennis Lynch 


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