In 2019, the City supported a change in plans to use the former Bethune Library site in Council District 8 for the development of a Marriott Hotel. The site’s initial plans were for affordable housing development, something the community had advocated for years to address the District’s increasing affordability crisis.
The UNIDAD coalition opposes the hotel project, which would serve tourists, not community members. The coalition would like to see the site used for affordable housing, as was the plan in 2016 when community members developed a vision for the site.
The Affordable Housing Los Angeles City Council District 8 report gives an overview of the housing crisis in CD8 and the need for more affordable housing production. It includes an overview of all affordable housing production in the last four years and an analysis of the loss of existing affordable housing units.
Between 2016 and 2020, the district produced 2,675 units of affordable housing. Since 2014, rents have increased by more than 100% in some areas of South Los Angeles.
Council District 8 is the second most housing burdened of all districts. Sixty-three percent experience housing burden and spend more than 30% of their income on housing; and 39% experience severe housing burden and spend more than 50% of their income on housing.
There are 1,493 District 8 households that use Section 8 vouchers to afford rent. Between 2016 and 2020, 2,675 units of affordable housing have been built or are in production.
Since 2016, 302 rent-stabilized units were removed from the market. At least 322 households were displaced via Cash for Keys offers, which makes up 6.53% of all offers reported to HCIDLA
District 8 has the third largest unhoused population of all districts. The unhoused population increased 72% in 2020.
Council District 8 has 6.9% of all affordable housing units (6,437) in Los Angeles. District 8’s supply of affordable homes ranks 5th among all districts relative to its population size and 7th in overall units.
Council District 8 is also losing RSO units through the use of the Ellis Act. Between 2016 and 2019, Council District 8 lost 245 units via the Ellis Act. During the period between 2016 and 2020 under Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Ellis Acts have increased 300% over the preceding period (between 2008 to 2015) under Councilman Bernard C. Parks.
UNIDAD recommends District 8’s council office prioritize public land for public good and do the following:
Conduct an assessment of city-owned vacant or underused land or properties for their feasibility for housing development
Prioritize the use of city-owned vacant or underused land for 100% affordable housing
Offer city-owned land to mission-driven organizations for 100% permanent affordable housing
Commit to use the site of the former Bethune Library at 3685 S. Vermont Avenue for the development of affordable housing