The AIA|LA Advocacy Report
May 10, 2018
from the desk of
Will Wright - Director, Government & Public Affairs, AIA Los Angeles



Local

Save the Date = Friday, July 13, 2018

On July 13th, our third annual DESIGN FOR DIGNITY: Housing an Inclusive Community conference will serve as a forum to discuss implementation strategies and best-practices to address our regional housing crisis.  Architects, designers, urban planners, civic leaders and community activists will convene to share insight into the funding sources, planning policies and legislative opportunities that have recently been developed.  

Proposition HHH will fund $1.2 Billion in Permanent Supportive Housing over the next ten years.  The County’s Measure H will provide $355 annually for the next ten years to fund services and programs to prevent and mitigate the impacts of homelessness.  LA City Council recently passed the PSH Ordinance to streamline the development of this desperately needed housing. Other ordinances have also recently passed that facilitate the conversion of motels into affordable housing, or facilitate the creation of more accessory dwelling units and garage-conversions, etc.  There was even a County Arts Commission competition for how to deliver more ADU’s countywide.

In 2017, California legislators passed 15 housing-related bills that all attempt to provide a pathway forward to allow more housing in our neighborhoods.  Furthermore, on the docket for this year: The 2018 Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act, if the voters approve in November 2018, will provide $4 Billion in funding sources.

Clearly, we’ve made it a priority to commit to the resources we need.  Now it’s time to further connect with our neighbors and our communities and seek effective pathways forward to implement housing solutions as quickly as possible.

How do we best utilize these new tools, resources and strategies?  What’s the role of the architect and the designer?

The third annual DESIGN FOR DIGNITY: Housing an Inclusive Community conference will connect together a multidisciplinary set of practitioners and highlight opportunities for how to implement design solutions that can enliven the human spirit of our neighborhoods.

Topics of Conversation:
• How has financing affordable housing changed?
• How are these new funding sources accessed?
• Who controls access to these funding sources?
• What specifically are those funds being used for?
• Who are the developers/clients who are suing these funds
• What is the status of state legislation? How can architects support or change these efforts?
• Which City Councilmembers and County Supervisors are directly leading the effort and how can we best support them?
• How can we best encourage more leadership from our elected officials and more compassion from our neighborhood groups?

Interested? Register HERE: includes 6 HSW Learning Units + breakfast&lunch



State

SB 993 (Hertzberg) = Sales Tax: Services

As an Architect, how do you feel about State Senator Bob Hertzberg’s proposal to impose a sales tax on your professional services? Will this tax put your firm at a disadvantage?

If it passes through the legislature, SB 993 (Hertzberg) will “expand the Sales and Use Tax Law to impose a tax on the purchase of services by businesses in California at a specified percentage of the sales price of the service. The bill would require the tax to be collected and remitted by the seller of the purchased services. The bill would exempt certain types of services, including health care services, from the tax and would exempt from the tax a business with gross receipts of less than $100,000 in the previous 4 quarters.”

AIA California Council is leading the effort to advocate opposition to this bill, which will be heard at the State Senate Governance & Finance Committee on May 16th. If you’re a constituent of any of the following State Senators, contact them immediately to share your concerns about how a sales tax on services will impact the fiscal health of the architecture profession in California:

Senator Mike McGuire (Chair)
Senator Janet Nguyen (Vice Chair)
Senator Jim Beall
Senator Ed Hernandez
Senator Robert M. Hertzberg
Senator Ricardo Lara
Senator John M. W. Moorlach

To read more about SB 993, PLEASE CLICK HERE.


National

Support Student Loan Relief for Architects


AIA National is leading a campaign to support The National Design Services Act.

Emerging architectural professionals currently face some of the highest student debt loads when compared with graduates in other fields. Beyond tuition, additional costs unique to architecture, such as modeling materials, technical books, and specialized software only add to the burden. In order for the profession of architecture to remain relevant, we need to ensure that our emerging professionals have every opportunity to gain experience, pay down their debt, and find rewarding work in the architectural field.



The National Design Services Act would authorize student loan debt relief for architectural school graduates who provide their services to communities in need through nonprofit community design centers. This program would reduce the burden of debt on emerging architectural professionals while bringing quality design within reach for underprivileged communities. 

Contact your Member of Congress and ask him or her to support the National Design Services Act!

To connect directly with AIA National Advocacy Specialist, Blake Nanney, CLICK HERE.


For more information, please contact:

Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects/ Los Angeles Chapter
3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 701
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(o) (213) 639-0764
email: will@aialosangeles.org
Last updated: 11-May-2018 03:33 PM
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