Published On: June 6th, 2023 | Categories: Affordable Housing, Fair Housing, State Updates, Sustainable Development |

LACAHSA Takes its First Steps 

Natalie Donlin-Zappella, Legislative Director

On May 18th, the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA) held its first board meeting with all five County Supervisors and elected representatives from all 88 cities in attendance, an important milestone in the creation of a new regional housing body for the County. First on the agenda was to elect leadership and determine a regular meeting schedule. Holly Mitchell, Los Angeles County Supervisor, was selected to chair the board, with Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson selected as Vice Chair, Weingart Foundation CEO Miguel Santana as Second Vice Chair, and Zerita Jones as Interim Chair of the Oversight Committee.

LACAHSA will now seek an interim Chief Executive to begin to implement the vision and take initial programmatic steps to respond to housing needs. In addition, the Agency will seek input from the community and stakeholders as it develops its organizational structure and future programs, which are expected to focus on the full spectrum of housing needs, including tenant protections, homelessness prevention and response, housing preservation, and new housing production.

Modeled after similar initiatives, including the New York City Housing Development Corporation and the Bay Area Housing Finance Agency (BAHFA), LACAHSA provides Los Angeles with a regional body to address housing and homelessness needs across the entire County. In addition to providing a coordinated vision for the region and providing technical assistance and best practices support, the Agency will have the authority to raise revenues and will have broad authority to implement programs and build and own housing.

LeSar facilitated the regional consensus process in 2021 that resulted in the LACAHSA governance structure. This regional body was then created by former Senator Sydney Kamlager’s SB 679, which was signed into law in September of 2022. LeSar provided a similar role in convening and facilitating regional elected officials and other leaders to produce the CASA Compact and the 3Ps Framework, which resulted in a suite of housing bills including AB 1487 creating BAHFA in 2019. A similar effort was proposed in San Diego by Senator Ben Hueso, but his bill (SB 1105) failed to move forward. Both SB 440 and SB 20, which are working through the legislative process and are discussed above, would facilitate the creation of regional housing agencies.

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About the Author

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Natalie Donlin-Zappella brings 15 years of cross-sector, inclusive community development experience working with public agencies, CDCs, community-based organizations, philanthropy, and CDFIs to produce and preserve affordable housing and protect communities of color from gentrification, displacement and natural hazards. Biography | Email

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