Los Angeles County is a complex, highly diverse urban region, comprised of 80 cities and various unincorporated areas. This Plan covers Los Angeles as an Urban County Entitlement, consisting of 47 participating cities with populations of less than 50,000, and two cities having a population of over 50,000 (which have chosen to remain in the program), and all unincorporated areas of the County. The Urban County is home to more than 2.2 million persons, and is created out of perhaps the most complex geography of any community in the nation, from the San Gabriel Mountains in the east to the beaches of Santa Monica Bay in the west. It is the largest and most rapidly growing metropolitan region in the fastest growing state in the country.
Los Angeles County distributes its Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds among the 47 participating jurisdictions according to the HUD allocation formula. These cities maintain local control over their local program and projects. In Fiscal Year 1995, Los Angeles County will make available $61.7 million through the CDBG program (including approximately $2.4 million in program income), $10.4 million through the HUD Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, and $1.3 million through the Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) Program. These programs provide support for a wide assortment of projects that support home ownership, housing rehabilitation, homeless shelter and services, and public facility and public service improvements.
The plan emphasizes the need to provide citizens with adequate information and to afford them the opportunity to give meaningful input. It encourages participation among our potential program beneficiaries: person of low- and moderate-income, and residents of slum and blighted areas. The plan allows citizens to participate in a collaborative process that involves proposing projects as well as assessing performance.
There are two levels of citizen involvement in the plan. One level is the
local or city level, and the other is the regional or county-wide level. The
Community Development Commission (CDC), as the administrator of the Los Angeles
Urban County Programs, assumes responsibility for compliance with all citizen
participation provisions as they apply to the County's portion of these
programs. In July and August 1994, prior to the required Public Hearings, the
CDC held thirteen community meetings to solicit the views of neighborhood
citizens on local priorities and needs, and to get their ideas on projects
meaningful to their particular area. These local meetings were followed by
Public Hearings conducted by Planning Commission in May 1995 and the Board of
Supervisors in June 1995. The Board of Supervisors authorized final submission
of this Plan of which the CDC made copies available for public comment.
Los Angeles County is a complex, highly diverse urban region, comprised of 80 cities and various unincorporated areas. For the purposes of receiving federal funds, the County of Los Angeles is defined as an Urban County which includes any county within a metropolitan area that has a population of 200,000 or more, excluding metropolitan cities. The focus of this document is the Los Angeles Urban County, which consists of 47 participating cities with populations of less than 50,000, and two cities having a population of over 50,000 which have chosen to remain in the program and the unincorporated areas of the County. The Urban County is home to more than 2.2 million persons, and is created out of perhaps the most complex geography of any HCDP community in the nation.
The lack of affordable housing in the County has reached crisis proportions in the County. Decay in neighborhoods and the inability of working County residents to afford decent shelter has become widespread. More and more families are becoming homeless, and are without safe and sanitary housing. Their lives and their children's lives are being seriously affected. Some statistical evidence of these facts is presented below.
Between 1980 and 1988, an estimated 249,946 net units were added to the County housing stock, an 8.8 percent increase. In the same time period, the general population increased 12.4 percent and households increased by 9.1 percent. However, these numbers do not include the homeless population or the 40,000 households estimated to be living illegally in garages and other substandard units.
The County plans to address these needs by conducting activities to meet the goals of providing housing production and acquisition, housing preservation and improvement, housing assistance, removal of constraints, economic development, public services, homeless activities, improvements to public works and neighborhood facilities, and assisting people with special needs. A variety of strategies and programs to address these goals are discussed in this Housing and Community Development Plan (HCDP). These strategies are summarized as follows:
Within the goal of housing production and acquisition, our strategies include:
The strategies for housing preservation and improvement include:
Strategies included under housing assistance are:
The County plans to minimize barriers to affordable housing by utilizing the following strategies:
Certain segments of the population such as the homeless, the "at-risk" of becoming homeless population, elderly, large families, female-headed households, and the disabled have specific needs which must be addressed through the provision of supportive services. The County addresses these needs through a variety of programs listed in the HCDP.
Populations with special needs, such as the elderly, large families, female-headed households and the disabled also require supportive services. County departments network with a variety of non-profit organizations (including housing providers), participating cities and private consultants to provide a wide variety of social/public services including: child-care, youth programs, senior citizen services, veterans services, programs for the disabled, battered spouses and children, chronically mentally disabled, drug addicts, alcoholics, runaway teens, and persons living with AIDS.
The CDC is a catalyst to business expansion and development, job creation and retention, and revitalization to business districts throughout unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Strategies for economic development and the revitalization of neighborhoods include the following:
The County implements a variety of strategies to improve the infrastructure and public Facilities throughout the Urban County and its participating cities. These strategies include:
The identification of priority needs serves to provide direction in focusing goals, objectives, and strategies into actual programs and projects. For a jurisdiction the size of Los Angeles County, where there are many diverse needs spread over a large geographic area, prioritization of needs is a daunting task. In general, priority is given to those areas of housing and community development identified in the HCDP, where there is the largest separation between needs and resources. This information was gathered from: 13 public meetings held for the HCDP, 1990 census data, participating cities, County departments, the Community Resources Investment Strategy (CRIS), the Housing Element of the General Plan, the County's Redevelopment Plans, the Enterprise Community application and the Community Profile. These priority needs, which define the projects that will be implemented in the short term, through the HCDP's one-year Action Plan, are summarized below.
The CDC's Housing Development and Homebuyer programs have, as a principal objective, the equitable distribution of program resources throughout the County in concert with the goal of being responsive to the specific needs of local areas and cities participating in the CDBG Urban County Program. One of the top priorities in meeting the housing needs of the County's low- and moderate-income residents is to expand the supply of housing through new construction and the acquisition of land for new construction.
Geographic location frequently determines where different housing activities are located. Some housing activities, such as a referral service for persons living with HIV/AIDS, would need to be conducted on a county wide basis, while a site for permanent service-enhanced housing for this client group would be located in the area of greatest need.
The overlying priority for housing preservation programs is to provide most of the available resources to the low- and moderate-income residents in designated areas throughout the County. The highest priority is to provide funds in the form of low-interest and deferred loans, grants, and rental rehabilitation loans to the residents of Neighborhood Improvement Strategy areas located in low- and moderate-income areas.
The top priority in utilizing resources to meet homeless needs is to develop a "continuum of care" approach which attempts to solve homelessness by addressing the various causes of homelessness: lack of support services and affordable housing, and insufficient income. The County's continuum of care strategy includes the vital components of homeless prevention, outreach, assessment, emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing and supportive housing. Several funding sources including Homeless Initiative and Emergency Shelter Grant funds have been targeted for the development of each of these components.
Non-housing needs described in the HCDP include the areas of economic development, public/social services and public improvements and facilities. Priorities for allocating funding within each of these areas are described below.
Economic Development - The primary objective of the County's Economic Development Plan is to build vibrant, self-sustaining communities through job creation and improved economic viability of low-income areas. The goal of job creation will be realized by targeting resources toward regional industrial development. Efforts will be aimed at creating an overall industrial development program to build industrial collaborations, encourage local business development and ownership, reinvest locally generated dollars into local services and infrastructure, and develop work force skills to support job creation.
Public/Social Services - Priorities in the provision of public/social services are directed toward the continual assessment of constituent needs and improvement of the service delivery system. Funding in the short-term will be targeted to strengthening of service capacity at all levels through training and technical assistance. In addition, resources will be directed toward the development of incentives to form partnerships among service providers to serve clients rather than the isolated efforts that result in competition and inefficient use of staff efforts.
Public Improvements and Facilities - The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works is primarily responsible for the operation and maintenance of public facilities throughout the County. Priority in the allocation of resources is directed toward maintenance of the vast array of public improvements throughout the County. The various divisions within the Department that allocate resources toward the maintenance of these facilities are:
In addition to State and local dollars, CDBG funds in the amount of $7.9 million will be spent on infrastructure projects as part of the three-year strategy.
The underlying theme espoused in the HCDP for developing an anti-poverty strategy is the unified delivery of service with the goal of building self-sufficiency in the social service client population. Achievement of self-sufficiency means that families may not require or depend on public assistance. To effectively guide low-income families out of the public assistance dependency cycle, and into self-sufficiency, the County will look at the whole picture and help the family identify everything it will take, financially and emotionally, to make a lifestyle change.
Once the needs are identified, the family must be given encouragement and be equipped with the appropriate financial, emotional and other necessary means to change its condition. A thorough assessment of the family, commitments from the family and agency staff, to a carefully planned program, and an atmosphere of trust and persistence are essential. Another important element in assisting families is family life skills development, which focuses on the basics of family budgeting, nutrition, self-esteem, health and hygiene, child rearing, child and parent education, planning and goal setting. Besides food, clothing, and housing, families may also need day care assistance, transportation, substance abuse treatment, group counseling and other types of support. Flexibility in providing family assistance is important, since each individual family has its own unique needs. By adopting a fresh way of looking at service delivery, Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) agencies can become proactive, preventive and partnership oriented.
High quality public housing is the result of effective management and enduring maintenance efforts. The County of Los Angeles endeavors to maintain the high quality of its public housing stock through a management strategy that emphasizes staff development, goal setting in accord with established objectives, audit responsiveness, and increased efficiency through automation.
Efforts to improve the management and operation of public housing include ongoing staff training and education at HUD and housing industry seminars. Staff is also provided with reading materials to keep current on trends and new information in the public housing field.
Management of public housing in the County is enhanced through goal setting that adheres to overall objectives that encourage:
In an effort to improve overall operational efficiency, the CDC has recently automated its public housing operation which allows the decentralization of all financial processing, the tracking of annual reexaminations and inspections, and the Public Housing and Management Assessment Program (PHMAP) reports. The system allows interface with a tenant accounting system and also permits tracking of unit inventory, inspections, and work orders. The system also provides information on the demographics of the resident population, including age, ethnicity, and income. The near-term goal is to ensure that the new automation system is utilized to its fullest capacity in the operation of the County's public housing.
The County has a two-tiered approach to the evaluation and elimination of lead-based paint hazards where the problem has been determined to be most prevalent. Grant funding for the expansion of the County's lead hazard evaluation program and establishment of a lead hazard reduction program has been provided by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC and P) and HUD's Office of Lead-Based Paint Abatement respectively. The lead hazard evaluation program, known as the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (CLPPP), involves outreach, screening, case management, and public education in seven target areas. The lead hazard reduction program involves environmental testing, lead hazard education, blood-lead testing for children, hazard reduction grants, and follow-up monitoring and testing, also in seven target areas.
In addition to the lead-based paint outreach, assessment and abatement activities that are currently taking place in existing housing programs, the County also conducts housing inspections to determine if various types of housing are safe, sanitary and fit for habitation. Hotels, motels and other non-medical housing are inspected on a regular basis to ensure that it complies with health and safety standards. Emergency shelter housing is also subject to health and safety inspections before participation is allowed in the County's voucher program. Routine health and safety inspections take place in over 60,000 multiple family dwellings to ensure that units are maintained per health department requirements.
Government regulations and procedures can act as barriers to the production
and preservation of affordable housing. These constraints affect the County's
ability to develop, maintain, and improve affordable housing. Land use
designation, zoning regulations, and development standards directly and
indirectly affect the supply and cost of affordable housing. These and other
regulatory barriers are discussed in the Needs Section of the HCDP. These
policies and procedures can impact the cost of land and housing through the "time-cost"
money factor that results when projects are delayed. Another impediment to the
provision of affordable housing is the lack of specific zoning designations to
facilitate a wide range of emergency shelters and transitional housing as
permitted uses in the County zoning ordinance. The CDC is also looking at other
studies to address these problems.
The one-year Action Plan describes the specific activities that will be undertaken during the upcoming program year to address the needs and local objectives stated in the HCDP. Specific projects that will be implemented include those to foster and maintain affordable housing, to improve public housing and expand resident initiatives, remove barriers to affordable housing, evaluate and reduce lead-based hazards, reduce the number of households below the poverty line, enhance coordination between public and private housing and social service agencies, and provide assistance to prevent homelessness and address the needs of the homeless through a continuum of care that provides not only emergency assistance but also a means of transitioning to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.
Projects that will be funded with CDBG, ESG and HOME funds are included as a component of the one-year Action Plan. The project information forms contain individual project descriptions, location, census tract(s), funding amount, and proposed accomplishments. The one-year Action Plan also describes monitoring standards, certifications, and specific grant submission requirements for CDBG, ESG and HOME.
In conclusion, the HCDP provides a comprehensive approach for analysis of housing and community development needs and establishes a mechanism for prioritizing needs and allocating resources based on those needs. The scope of the document has expanded the need for dialogue among the many entities involved in the various aspects of housing and community development and allows the County to develop a partnership approach among government, non-profits, for-profit organizations, business, and industry to provide assistance to those in need of affordable housing and a variety of community services.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in north LA County.
MAP 1a depicts points of interest in south LA County.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas in north LA County.
MAP 2a depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas in south LA County.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels in north LA County.
MAP 3a depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels in south LA County.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels in north LA County.
MAP 4a depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels in south LA County.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and proposed HUD funded projects in north LA County.
MAP 5a depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and proposed HUD funded projects in south LA County.
Stephanie Smith, Development Specialist
Community Development Commission
County of Los Angeles