Public Counsel

Public Counsel

Nonprofit

For the past two years, Public Counsel has worked with the Southeast Asian Community Alliance to develop a groundbreaking new land use plan for the transit-rich Cornfields Arroyo area north of downtown. The campaign focused on obtaining incentives for increased affordable housing, environmental justice, and good jobs. As a result of our efforts in providing lead legal and policy support, along with the efforts of o … Read More For the past two years, Public Counsel has worked with the Southeast Asian Community Alliance to develop a groundbreaking new land use plan for the transit-rich Cornfields Arroyo area north of downtown. The campaign focused on obtaining incentives for increased affordable housing, environmental justice, and good jobs. As a result of our efforts in providing lead legal and policy support, along with the efforts of other community partners, the plan is expected to be an effective tool for producing affordable housing in the area and for preventing displacement of existing residents. The plan is being touted as a model for transit planning throughout LA. Public Counsel won a preliminary injunction this year, preventing the State from taking $38 million in affordable housing funds from the LA County Housing Authority. Acting on behalf of the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, we protected these funds that are designated for affordable housing for low-income seniors, people who are homeless, families, and transition-age youth within 15 miles of the City of Industry, which includes many areas around transit. Our staff attorneys led a team of lawyers in reaching an agreement, in 2011, with the developer of the Lorenzo project in South LA, in which the developer agreed to concessions worth $9.5 million. The Lorenzo project is the largest of its kind along the city’s planned Expo Line extension. The agreement delivered a wide range of community benefits, including 7,500 square feet, rent free, dedicated to community-based health care services, and 5% of the units built to be made affordable to people who earn less than 50% of the area median income. With Public Counsel’s leadership, the Alliance for Community Transit-Los Angeles engaged in a strategic planning process; finalized its vision, mission, and principles; solidified its membership base of 20 diverse organizations; strengthened its infrastructure; and developed the key parameters of a citywide equitable TOD campaign. Public Counsel represented the interests of low-income tenants whose affordable housing was at risk of being lost in Los Angeles’ rapidly gentrifying coastal zone, which already had a limited supply of affordable housing. In 2011, we reached a historic settlement with HUD and the owners of the Holiday Venice apartment complex that provides for 20 years of affordability provisions and protects current tenants from being displaced. We are engaged in a long-term campaign in the southeast cities (Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Maywood, and South Gate) to increase families’ access to child care and green space through changes to those cities’ general plans and zoning codes. Public Counsel is providing legal advocacy to preserve a 400-bed homeless shelter that is at risk of being shut down or forced to relocate by the 710 freeway expansion.

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