This Tuesday, November 8, the voters will have in their hands the decision to vote on the ULA measure to apply an additional tax to properties that are sold for more than $5 million to allocate them to the construction of affordable housing and prevent homelessness in the city of Los Angeles.
The proposed tax increase for properties sold or transferred for more than $5 million will be 4%, and for those greater than $10 million, 5.5%.
The ULA measure would produce about $923 million a year to establish the House LA Fund within the City Treasury, which would build affordable housing and prevent homelessness in the form of rent relief, income support and legal advice. to tenants.
Monica Mejia, president of the East LA Community Corporation, said the ULA measure is critical to our future, given homelessness that continues to rise among seniors and Latinos here in Los Angeles, and the rapid rise in evictions that they threaten to put our people on the streets.
“We must pass it now to provide more than $900 million per year in critical resources for programs such as direct assistance to low-income seniors, legal services to keep renters in their homes, and preserving and building affordable housing units throughout the city. ”, said Mejia.
The bill will also create a citizen review committee tasked with developing funding guidelines, addressing project needs and auditing spending.
There are approximately 41,000 homeless people in Los Angeles. It is estimated that 63% of homes are occupied by renters. Local funding dedicated to affordable housing and renter programs is limited.
The City collects a document transfer tax on the sale or transfer of property that funds City services, what this measure does is establish an additional document transfer tax on property valued at more than $5 million to fund affordable housing and renter programs.
But what are the chances that this measure will be approved by the voters.
“We are trying to make sure that all Angelenos know that the ULA is vital to the future, and we are confident that at the end of the day, voters will agree,” said Maria Patino Gutierrez, director of policy and research at equitable development for the organization Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE), which has been a great organizer and supporter of the Yes on ULA Coalition.
He added: “We know that homelessness and housing affordability are consistently found in the polls as some of the top issues for Los Angeles voters. This is why the housing experts from our coalition came together to write Measure ULA.”
He recalled that 98,171 Los Angeles voters signed petitions to put this forward-thinking and innovative solution to the homelessness and affordability crisis on the ballot.
But if this measure is approved by the voters, how can we ensure that the taxes collected are going to be used to actually build affordable housing?
“The funds generated by ULA will be placed in a designated fund that can only be used for affordable housing (for low-income people) and renter protections – which are the exact topics written in the text of Measure ULA,” said Patino Gutierrez. .
And he further emphasized that elected officials will not be allowed to move the funds or use them for anything else.
“Measure ULA was also expertly written to include the strongest citizen oversight and transparency in the history of the City of Los Angeles.”
He added that the fund will be overseen by a Citizens Committee with specific knowledge and lived experience of housing and homelessness and supported by paid staff led by an Inspector General.”
In favor of the ULA measure is the Los Angeles Democratic Party, unions such as UNITE HERE Local 11, the SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, among others; organizations like ACLU SoCal, Community Coalition, End Homelessness Now Los Angeles, Eviction Defense Network, and hundreds of other organizations.