Councilwoman seeks to expand supportive housing

Wave Wire Services

LOS ANGELES — City Councilwoman Nithya Raman has introduced three motions in an effort to expand the city’s short supply of affordable and permanent supportive housing.

In conversations across the district, we’ve heard a common theme: L.A. needs more affordable places for people to live,” Raman said. “Our office has sought out sites for affordable and supportive housing, as well as policy strategies to build more of these units. That’s what [these] motions are about.”

One motion would instruct the Department of City Planning to report back to the City Council within three months with a strategic plan to streamline 100% deed-restricted affordable housing projects in the city. The department would work with the Housing and Community Investment and Building and Safety departments on the report, which would include consideration of the following strategies:

• Increasing resources to allow for shorter staff review times.

Having shorter appeal times.

• Further accelerating prioritization for projects that have 100% affordable units.

• Modifying site plan review thresholds.

• And using an administrative review process for 100% deed-restricted affordable housing projects.

Raman’s other two motions would instruct the city administrative officer to review a vacant lot owned by the city at 1905 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood and a parking lot owned by the city at 728 S. Cochran St. in Miracle Mile as potential sites for permanent supportive housing or 100% affordable housing developments.

Exploring a possible site for supportive or affordable housing is just the first step in a long process toward getting a project built,” Raman said. “I’m very excited to work with city departments, builders, community organizations and residents to make sure these developments are assets to their communities and to the whole district.”

Raman, who has been in office for about six months, was served a recall notice by a group of constituents, including the publisher of the Los Feliz Ledger, c on June 9. The group alleges that Raman is putting her “personal homelessness ideology over constituent safety.”

Raman responded to the recall effort with a statement June 14, saying:I love the people and the neighborhoods of this district. That’s why I ran to represent it. I invite the organizers of this recall to work with me on making it an even better place to live, work and raise our children.”

She added that during the time she has been in office, she and her team have “enabled systematic outreach and connections to housing for dozens of encampments that had long been neglected.

“We’ve introduced and passed legislation to better protect vulnerable tenants from harassment, to support small businesses, and to improve our homelessness response,” Raman said. “We’ve successfully advocated for a budget that restores funding and full staffing for Rec and Parks and that funds mental health services and alternative crisis response for the district. And we’ve worked with constituents in every single neighborhood of the 4th District to effectively address their concerns.”