The Coalition believes that as housing partners, it is our duty to be supportive and provide reasonable solutions. We believe the jurisdictions that rely on rent controls as a means to address affordability miss the larger housing issues the region faces. We believe there are policy proposals that are an excellent starting point for the broader discussion. Those proposals include:
New affordable housing
The Coalition firmly believes the only true solution to addressing the housing crisis is to build new affordable housing. The region must increase new, affordable housing for our workforce, our families and the homeless.
Tenant and landlord education
The Coalition fully supports providing balanced educational programming for both tenants and landlords. While services are available from a host of providers, the Coalition supports the County taking a greater role in providing oversight. Educating stakeholders is the first step of many in addressing the housing crisis. We support each stakeholder having access to information on housing policy, permitting, zoning, parking, and habitability as well as best practices for both parties.
An open dialogue between tenants and landlords is imperative so there is an established procedure in the event of a conflict. As mentioned in your framework, Culver City does have a mediation program. The Coalition suggests that mediation is examined not solely as a resource for rent increases, but also a means to address a range of potential issues. We would recommend an approach that provides both tenant and landlord an opportunity to seek a third-party mediator.
Streamlined approval process
Streamlining approval process aims to increase efficiency and organization which ultimately leads to an increase in housing. Earlier this year, Governor Brown signed SB 35 (Weiner), which allows for ministerial approval on projects with affordable housing units in cities and counties that have not satisfied regional housing needs. The process allows for a streamlined review process, while still maintaining environmental and building safety protections. The Coalition supports increasing affordable housing development across the spectrum. Streamlining the approval process will reduce bureaucratic time constraints.
Development standard modifications
The Coalition supports maintaining strong building and safety standards for all construction. However, we believe that as Los Angeles County evolves towards an increasingly vertical region, the standards for development of new affordable housing should bend towards increasing housing. There needs to be a push to relax development standards in and around transit hubs. Additionally, we support decreased parking requirements, increasing density bonuses, and amending setback modifications.
Changes to the state’s CEQA laws
The Coalition supports public input and review of new projects as it relates to environmental protection. We do however believe that there are efforts, like AB 73 (Chiu) which incentivize wholesale environmental review of new affordable housing development projects in “housing sustainability districts.” Policies like AB 73 maintain environmental protections for residents and communities while also recognizing that there is a need to expedite new construction. The County should look toward supporting and implementing similar policies.