Vote No, No, No on Measure JJJ

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Measure JJJ would impose some of the nation’s most demanding affordable housing and wage mandates on privately-funded development. It was written without any analysis of whether the measure would actually relieve the city’s affordable housing crisis, as opposed to increasing the cost of new construction so much that developers build fewer units for low- and middle-income Angelenos.” – Los Angeles Times Editorial Board, 9/27/16

The Chamber, along with a coalition of community organizations, homeless advocates, housing advocates and tenant rights groups, opposes Measure JJJ and so does the Los Angeles Times editorial board. Measure JJJ would place huge burdens on the ability of developers to build the housing we desperately need to address our affordability and homeless crisis. 

This measure, proposed by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, would dramatically raise the cost of residential projects over 10 units that need a zone change or general plan amendment to build the housing Angelenos need. Costs would go up because these projects would be subject to new hiring and wage mandates and a requirement to subsidize a specific number of lower cost units. Studies by the University of California, Berkeley, the California Institute and Habitat for Humanity/San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys estimate that these requirements could add as much as 23-30 percent to the cost of constructing new housing. The end result would be higher rental costs and higher prices for first-time homebuyers and anyone considering a home purchase in L.A.

Despite its advertised purpose, this measure is counterproductive to solving the housing crisis in L.A. The housing vacancy rate in L.A. is the lowest in the nation and 45,000 County residents sleep in shelters or on sidewalks and tents each night. Mayor Garcetti has called for 100,000 new housing units by 2021. Measure JJJ would cut the legs out from under that plan.

We believe in the American dream of affordable housing for all income levels. This poorly written measure will make that dream less accessible because it will raise the cost of housing and complicate long-term planning to house current and future generations. I strongly urge you to vote No on Measure JJJ.

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