Apartments in the Los Angeles Arts District. Photo by John Schreiber
Apartments in the Los Angeles Arts District. Photo by John Schreiber

The City Council will consider a potential ballot measure aimed at encouraging the creation of affordable housing in Los Angeles, after the City Clerk’s office certified that petition signatures submitted by proponents are sufficient to put on the ballot.

The clerk’s office reviewed a sampling of the 94,238 signatures submitted earlier this month by proponents of the Build Better L.A. initiative, and found that enough signatures were verified as belonging to registered voters.

The council will now be tasked with deciding whether to adopt the ordinance as-is, call a special election or place the measure on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

Rusty Hicks, who heads the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor that spearheads the Build Better L.A. initiative, said residents of Los Angeles “agree that the city is getting more and more expensive to live in each day.”

“By having our proposal on the November ballot, Angelenos will have the best possible chance to vote on a measure that brings housing people can actually afford and good, local jobs they could rely on,” Hicks said.

The proposed measure, Affordable Housing and Labor Standards for General Plan Amendments and Zoning Changes, calls for developers to make a percentage of their units affordable in exchange for being granted amendments on existing zoning and planning rules, such as exceptions that make the projects bigger or more dense than is allowed.

The measure also calls for incentives for building more affordable residential units near transit hubs, and would set up local hire rules around wage and working condition standards.

Critics have said the measure would lead to a proliferation of developments receiving exceptions to existing zoning rules and general plan guidelines.

Backers of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative — which is proposed for the March 2017 ballot — contend the Build Better L.A. measure would “boost gridlock and hasten demolitions in rent-stabilized communities, all while accelerating L.A.’s price-gouging luxury housing craze.”

— Wire reports 

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