Petition Shows Strong Support for Fixing Flawed Update of Hollywood Community Plan

A petition created by Housing Is A Human Right shows strong support for fixing the flawed update of the Hollywood Community Plan. More than 1,660 people have signed the petition, demanding that Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council protect residents against predatory developers and build more homeless and low-income housing. As it stands now, Housing Is A Human Right points out, the Hollywood Community Plan is another wrong-headed giveaway to the real estate industry.

The Hollywood Community Plan is a comprehensive guide for development in the Hollywood area — from how tall buildings can be constructed to how many affordable-housing units must be included in a new project. Community plans are written for all neighborhoods in Los Angeles, shaping what will be built in the city. They have serious impacts on residents’ quality of life.

Since February, Housing Is A Human Right (HHR) has urged L.A. City Council members Mitch O’Farrell, Nithya Raman, and Paul Koretz, whose districts lie within the Hollywood Community Plan area, to make changes that help residents who are struggling with the housing affordability and homelessness crises.

These policies include requiring developers to add a large percentage of low-income housing to their new projects, using city-owned properties to build more homeless housing, and ensuring that residents don’t lose their say over what’s constructed in their neighborhoods.

“For too many years,” Susie Shannon, policy director at Housing Is A Human Right, said in February, “L.A. City Hall has bent over backwards to give developers whatever they want and let them decide what our communities look like and who gets housing — and it’s not working. In fact, it’s fueling gentrification and the housing affordability and homelessness crises.”

Shannon added, “City leaders must address our homeless crisis by providing city-owned land for homeless housing, mandate a percentage of housing be built for low-income residents, and protect the city against predatory developers. Every community plan must have a comprehensive path forward to housing our unhoused and low-income residents.”

Due to the longtime push by city politicians to build more luxury housing, Hollywood has turned into one of the most gentrified areas in L.A. (Read HHR’s award-winning special report: “The Garcetti-fication of Los Angeles: A Gentrification Cautionary Tale.”)

Housing Is A Human Right’s demands, though, have been largely ignored, and the organization created a petition earlier this year. HHR hoped to collect a few hundred signatures. Instead, public support dramatically multiplied, growing to an impressive 1,667 signatures so far. It’s a strong indicator that residents back HHR’s amendments — and that they expect the L.A. City Council to fix the flawed update of the Hollywood Community Plan.

Comments left by petition supporters noted that “we need more lower-priced, well-built housing,” that “we have enough luxury [housing], we need affordability and housing for the homeless,” and that “I am sick of L.A. city officials catering to the 1 percent — greedy landowners and developers who destroy neighborhood bonds and have no concept of ‘affordable’ housing!”

Petition supporters not only reside in the Hollywood area, but also in other neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Housing Is A Human Right has argued that L.A. City Hall will probably use the Hollywood Community Plan as a template for plans in other parts of L.A., and therefore the flawed update has citywide implications. L.A. residents outside of the Hollywood area clearly share Housing Is A Human Right’s larger concern.

Angelenos are keeping a close eye on the L.A. City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti. While the middle and working class struggle with sky-rocketing rents, the prospect of homelessness, and predatory developers and corporate landlords, they want more protections — not more developer giveaways. As it stands now, the update of the Hollywood Community Plan will be a boon for the real estate industry — and another bad deal for hard-working residents.

Patrick Range McDonald, the author of this article, is the award-winning advocacy journalist for Housing Is A Human Right.