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Election Results Point to Defeat for Anti-Housing Neighborhood Integrity Initiative

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November 09, 2016
3-to-1 supermajority for Prop HHH shows voter resolve against proposed housing ban

With the November 8 election results in view, including a 75%-25% victory for Prop HHH, it now appears that the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative building moratorium has virtually no path to the 50%+1 votes it needs on the March 2017 Los Angeles city ballot.

"The vote for HHH shows that Los Angeles is ready to end homelessness by building homes," said Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. "The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative would make it impossible to reach the voters' very clear goal by explicitly banning the construction of virtually all of those homes."

The Los Angeles Times found that the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative's so-called "affordable housing exemption" would prohibit construction on 11 out of 12 sites chosen by the city to develop housing for the homeless -- the first developments that could be funded and built with HHH funds. The 12 locations, known as the Affordable Housing Opportunity Sites (city report available at https://cl.ly/hi63) are city-owned property that have been proposed for development into permanent supportive housing or other affordable housing solutions.

"By voting for HHH, Angeleno voters have said that they are ready to invest the money to build the homes to end chronic homelessness," said Ron Miller, Executive Secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. "And the vote to defeat Measure LV in Santa Monica shows that voters all over understand that smart growth is necessary to ending homelessness in our region. Meanwhile, the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative would drive up rents, throw thousands out of work, increase homelessness, and leave nowhere to build the homes Angelenos voted for. The voters have spoken -- it's the wrong time for an anti-housing ballot measure."

Practically speaking, the NII is a housing ban. Mayor Garcetti's Sustainability Plan calls for 100,000 new units of housing by 2021, but reaching that goal will require ramping up production. In 2015, Los Angeles permitted 15,645 new units of housing. The same year, 9,099 proposed units of housing required the kinds of zoning updates that the NII would ban. Taking such a high proportion of housing off the table will make it impossible to reach that goal.

"While the backers of the NII want to punish City Hall and development, their misguided measure actually punishes renters and people experiencing homelessness, our city's most vulnerable, who need our help the most," said Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. "We stand with the people across Los Angeles who voted to solve homelessness, and who want to make housing more affordable and build housing the right way. The NII goes too far, and it must be defeated."
November's election results are only the latest indicator that the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative will fail. Previous polling has shown weak support for the initiative, with support hovering at 37% and opposition at 44%. And large majorities of voters express concern with the initiative's potential impact on the housing and homelessness crisis. Nearly two-thirds (65%) are extremely or very concerned that this initiative "prevents building shelters and transitional housing for victims of domestic violence, homeless veterans, low-income elderly residents and the mentally ill." Nearly as many (62%) fear that it "will increase the rate of homelessness in Los Angeles and make it virtually impossible to address this problem."

Leaders of L.A.'s most prominent organizations fighting homelessness have issued an open letter calling the NII reckless and disastrous.

"If you supported HHH and you're ready to see those bond funds put to work bringing homeless Angelenos home to clean, safe apartments, your most important next step is to help defeat the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative," said Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, President and CEO of LA Family Housing. "More than two-thirds of Angelenos chose to end homelessness by building homes. The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative makes it almost impossible to build those new homes."

Contributions or gifts to the Coalition to Protect L.A. Neighborhoods & Jobs are not tax deductible.

Paid for by Coalition to Protect L.A. Neighborhoods and Jobs, a team of businesses, homeless advocates, renters, and homeowners. Major funding by CH Palladium, LLC and Westfield DD&C, LLC. 777 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 4050, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

Additional information is available at ethics.lacity.org

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