Public land for public good: UNIDAD letter in opposition to SB 1373

Affordable Housing Grant Program
June 2, 2022

Public land for public good: UNIDAD letter in opposition to SB 1373

UNIDAD bethune library map los angeles

UNIDAD wrote the Assembly Local Government Committee to oppose Senate Bill 1373 on account of its provisions undermining state laws that promote affordable housing.

SB 1373 would amend the Surplus Land Act in a way that would enable ongoing gentrification and the use of what is currently public land for private gain.

From the letter:

image of first page of letter from UNIDAD to Assembly Local Government Committee opposing SB1373
Click thumbnail to read the letter
SB 1373 amends the Surplus Land Act, an important state law that promotes using publicly owned land for affordable housing and other community serving uses. The city of Los Angeles is facing an extreme housing crisis, and Black and brown communities like South Los Angeles are disproportionately suffering from gentrification and a severe lack of affordable housing. The amendments proposed by SB 1373 allow the City of Los Angeles and the former redevelopment agency, CRA/LA, to continue their plans of using valuable public land for gentrifying development. For example, the City is currently negotiating the sale of a parcel of land that is the former site of the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Regional Branch library (the “Bethune site”), named after a prominent leader in the civil and women’s rights movements. After promising for several years that the Bethune site would be used for desperately needed affordable housing, the City abruptly changed course and is now supporting the sale of publicly owned land to a luxury hotel developer.
The state legislature should be focused on pushing local jurisdictions to address the affordable housing crisis with the resources at their disposal, instead of supporting development projects that bring little community serving value to low-income communities of color.