Public Land Campaign

Public Land for Affordable Homes in South LA

The United Neighbors in Defense Against Displacement (UNIDAD) Coalition calls on the City to prioritize public land for public good by committing to use the site of the former Bethune Library, a vacant 34,000 square foot city-owned parcel located at 3685 S. Vermont Avenue, for the development of  affordable housing, as residents have continuously called for over the last decade.  This publicly owned land has been selected for a hotel development. We need affordable housing, not hotels!

The need to preserve public land for public good is even more important now amid the  global public health crisis, ensuing economic devastation, and civil uprising in response to decades of police brutality.

Read our letter signed by over 20 South LA Organizations calling on elected officials to prioritize public land for affordable homes.

Open Letter to Elected Officials

Sign Our Petition  calling for Elected Officials to build affordable homes at the Bethune Library Site in South Los Angeles

South Central Needs Homes Not Hotels

Sign on to our open letter demanding City council stand by their word to support community development.

History of the Bethune Library Site

The site of the former Bethune Library has a long-standing history in the community. The former Bethune Library opened in 1975, and named in honor of Mary McLeod Bethune, a prominent entrepreneur, philanthropist and leader in civil and women’s rights. Like its namesake the Bethune Library exemplified the value of equal access to education and equity for black communities.The library offered crucial resources and a vibrant community meeting space to the South Central community until it was demolished in 2009. In the absence of this integral community asset, the City and other local entities have over the years supported an affordable housing project in its place. In 2016, the City sought approval to convert the site into permanent supportive housing. Still, in 2019 City Council voted to prioritize this land for commercial development, and is in negotiations with a developer, to develop a Hotel. 

The Bethune Library Site was selected for an affordable housing development in the past: 

In 2011, TRUST SOUTH LA and Abode Communities successfully submitted a proposal for affordable housing.  The process of community engagement and outreach results in various community meetings to ensure that the proposal for affordable housing is what the community wanted. Now this same site is in the pipeline for a hotel development.(Conceptual Renderings, of previously planned development)

Pictures from a rally and press conference in front of the former Bethune Library to express outrage at the loss of the 55 permanent, affordable homes and a fresh food grocer planned for the site in February 2012.

In 2019 the city Council Voted to approve an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement between the Developer of a hotel and the city to develop this precious public land into a hotel. Other applicants were at the table including an affordable housing developer, but the city chose a hotel developer despite the current housing crisis in South LA.

The Community Needs More Affordable Housing!!

Join our campaign!




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