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AIDS Group Fights L.A. Mayor on Housing Developments

Phil Hall
Jan 06, 2016
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in a public battle with an AIDS awareness organization over a proposed ballot measure that would limit the city’s ability to greenlight major residential developments

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in a public battle with an AIDS awareness organization over a proposed ballot measure that would limit the city’s ability to greenlight major residential developments.

According to a Los Angeles Times report, the non-profit AIDS Healthcare Foundation is backing a ballot measure that would put a two-year moratorium on developments that would require changes in municipal planning and zoning rule to increase allowable density in a particular area. The Foundation, which is part of a larger activist group called the Coalition to Preserve L.A., became involved in this issue after a real estate developer proposed the construction of two 30-story residential towers on a parking lot next to its headquarters–the project requires zoning changes and other municipal approvals before it can proceed.

Foundation President Michael Weinstein saw the issue as a pushback against the expansion of luxury housing, and he questioned the mayor’s commitment to increasing affordable housing opportunities.

"The stuff that’s being built now is all beyond the reach of even middle-income people," Weinstein said. "If they were actually building stuff that people could afford, you could make [Garcetti's] argument."

Garcetti, whose housing policy includes a promise to build 100,000 new units by 2021, argued that the ballot proposal would only result in limiting housing opportunities in the city and hurt the local construction industry.

“We still need to build things in Los Angeles,” Garcetti said.

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