Councilwoman Yaroslavsky Introduces Legislative Housing Package to Increase Affordable Housing on Land Owned By Religious Communities

February 15, 2023|Press Release
For Immediate Release
February 28, 2023
Bill package includes support resolution for Senate Bill 4 and report on improving collaboration between affordable housing developers and faith-based institutions
LOS ANGELES - Earlier today, Los Angeles City Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky unveiled her first legislative housing package, seconded by Councilmember Nithya Raman, seeking to increase the supply of affordable housing located on lands owned by religious institutions. The package includes a support resolution for Senate Bill (“SB”) 4, which will legalize and expedite the construction of affordable housing on land owned by communities of faith and non-profit educational institutions, a study of the impacts of SB 4 on religious institutions located in the Fifth Council District, and a report on how to increase collaboration between houses of worship and affordable housing developers.

"For so many faith-based institutions across Los Angeles, providing affordable housing is a natural extension of their mission to help those in need. Allowing these institutions to build new affordable units addresses a critical need for those struggling to find a safe and stable place to live. It also opens up an enormous amount of land for 100% affordable housing, something that is hard to come by in many parts of the city, including Council District 5," said Councilwoman Yaroslavsky.

“We are living in a city with a massive housing crisis, and as a justice-driven faith-based community, we felt that providing housing is one way we can put our property where our hearts are,” said Melissa Balaban, Executive Director/CEO of IKAR in the Mid-Wilshire area. IKAR is one of several religious institutions that are actively seeking to navigate the City's funding, zoning, and permitting process to build new Permanent Supportive Housing on their land. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with Community Corporation of Santa Monica who will build 55 units of Permanent Supportive Housing for formerly homeless seniors on our property. We are deeply grateful to Councilwoman Yaroslavsky and her office for their enthusiastic support of this project, and we truly hope this partnership will inspire other communities of faith to include affordable housing in their facility planning.”

If passed, Councilwoman Yaroslavsky’s legislative package would add the City of Los Angeles to a long list of supporters of Senate Bill 4, including religious institutions, labor, and the non-profit housing community.

"The Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters is a proud co-sponsor of SB 4 and applauds Councilmember Yaroslavsky's motion to support the bill. SB 4 is a critical step forward in addressing Los Angeles' housing and homelessness crisis and building community wealth," said Pete Rodriguez, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters.

"As a co-sponsor of SB 4, the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH) commends the leadership of Councilwoman Yaroslavsky for supporting affordable housing creation not only in Los Angeles but throughout the region and state. SB 4 empowers mission-aligned churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious institutions across our diverse city as valued partners in bringing much-needed affordable housing into our communities. The full City Council should recognize that this bill engages willing partners and community anchors in helping to solve our homelessness and affordable housing crises. SCANPH and our members are working very hard to make the coalition behind SB 4 even bigger, and we will be very happy to have the City of Los Angeles onboard in pushing this important tool to deliver more affordable housing here in Los Angeles," said Frank Martinez, SCANPH Policy Director.

Councilwoman Yaroslavsky’s legislative package will be voted on by the Housing and Homelessness Committee before making its way to the full City Council.