What do the Bay Area and Los Angeles have in common? Temperate weather, coastal views, and a severe housing shortage, displacement, and affordability crisis.
Despite being two distinct regions, the two metropolitan areas are both saddled with record rates of homelessness, widespread rent burden, and rapid rates of displacement.
What’s more, many of these issues are driven by NIMBYism and years of bad policy decisions like single-family zoning that have restricted growth and led to exorbitant housing costs.
That’s why HAC is building on our proven record of collaborating with elected officials, partnering with pro-housing organizations, and activating and engaging community members to propel pro-housing progress and expand to Los Angeles County.
We kicked off our LA expansion on March 10, as the HAC team traveled down south to host our inaugural LA event and introduce ourselves to the LA pro-housing community. We were thrilled with the robust turnout and overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception! Over the course of the two-hour meet and greet, more than 80 guests stopped by to welcome HAC to LA and learn about our organization’s housing advocacy efforts. We were particularly honored to be joined by California State Senator Scott Wiener and California Assemblymembers Laura Friedman and Wendy Carrillo, as we recognize the vital importance of forging collaborative relationships with local and state-level decision-makers.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was the time we set aside for some of our friends to address the audience and share their experiences of working with HAC. Senator Weiner, in particular, spoke about his relationship with HAC and our Executive Director Todd David, saying:
“Todd is the best organizer I’ve ever been around. If there’s something that is important and needs to get done, I ask Todd to manage it and don’t have to worry. It makes sense to me that Todd has taken HAC to new levels; they’re a powerhouse.”
Now with our inaugural LA event behind us, HAC is eager to measure up to Senator Weiner’s high praise and start organizing and activating the LA pro-housing community. Over the next few months, we’re planning to hire our inaugural LA-based team and officially open our LA office. In the meantime, we’ve already heard from numerous home builders who, upon learning about our community organizing and project advocacy work, expressed their pressing need for HAC to support their projects and help get their homes approved.
While LA will present the HAC team with new NIMBYs to contend with, we love a challenge and we’re excited to start working to make LA a more affordable, accessible, and equitable place to call home.