Takeways from Design for Dignity: A Roundtable Discussion on Measure HHH
Thursday, February 8 (6pm - 8pm)
LA Community Action Network - 838 E. Sixth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

About the Event:

“With the first Measure HHH funded project under construction, efforts by the City of Los Angeles to alleviate homelessness is gaining momentum. The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects will co-host with Los Angeles Community Action Network a panel discussion with city officials and homeless housing providers to explore actionable steps to streamline future Measure HHH projects.”

Confirmed Speakers:
Amy N. Anderson - Executive Director, PATH Ventures
Lise Bornstein, AIA - Partner, Killefer Flammang Architects
Rushmore Cervantes - General Manager, Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department (HCIDLA)
Peter Lynn - Executive Director, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority
Pete White - Founder & Co-Director, Los Angeles Community Action Network
Moderated by: Laura Lehman - Senior Designer, MVE + Partners

What We Learned:

1. On February 6th, HCIDLA issued their 2017-2018 Measure HHH Call For Projects (Round Two) and Developers are encourages to apply HERE. Deadline is March 5th.
2. In April 2018, HCIDLA is expecting to release their second round of bonds for sale and are actively seeking letters of commitments from City Councilmembers for sites throughout the City of Los Angeles. It’s important that we we distribute the develop Permanent Supportive Housing in each of the fifteen council districts.
3. LA CAN issued two community reports as critical observations at the end of 2017: “Dirty Divide: Out of Service” address the urgent need to have more bathrooms, showers and hygiene stations throughout skid-row. “All Show and No Substance: Proposition HHH First Year Performance Assessment” spells out seven important recommendations to mitigate the housing crisis.
   a. Preserve the existing affordable housing stock.
   b. Utilize city-owned property for low-income housing (even look at adaptively re-using certain existing public facilities)
   c. Embrace the Unconventional.
   d.Expand access to public sanitation.
   e. Stop the cripminilaztion of homelessness.
   f. Include the community more often in the decision-making process.
   g. Make public education a key priority. And build support for greater acceptance of affordable housing in all parts of the city.
4. Amy Anderson underscored the importance of saying YES TO EVERY SINGLE SOLUTION. We need it all.
5. Lise Bornstein, AIA emphasized the need to remove the regulatory and procedural impediments to deliver affordable housing more quickly to the market. We need to further streamline the process. As importantly: The elephant in the room continues to be NIMBYism. We need to demystify the community impacts of affordable housing and build more political support. She referenced the CSH program “Speak Up” as an important tool that we need to utilize more often.
6. Peter Lynn reminded the audience: “Mental illness doesn’t cause homelessness. Lack of affordability and a lack of social services causes homelessness.” Also, the degree of institutional racism and the legacy of mass incarceration, which is one of the root-causes of homelessness, needs to be rectified immediately.
7. Rushmore Cervantes pointed out one of the challenging paradoxes inherent in delivering more affordable housing to the market: There is a need to preserve the existing affordable housing stock, and at the same time, there is a need to densify the city so that we’re able to build more units of housing so that we have a greater supply of housing availability. The Ellis Act challenge needs to be solved - and since there are relatively few places available to build the amount of housing that we need, we need to think more strategically about how to balance all of this so that we’re building complete and inclusive communities.
8. There is the opportunity to define our housing crisis as a "state of emergency" so that we’re able to implement immediate solutions such temporary structures, modular container homes on parking lots (or vacant lots). These habitable arrangements would then move from site to site as more permanent development comes into play.

How the Event fulfilled the AIA|LA Strategic Plan:

Advocacy = Building Collaborative Relationships with other organizations and appointing architects as experts in affordable housing
Last updated: 13-Feb-2018 11:16 AM
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