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Ballot measure aims to increase affordable housing


The City Clerk’s office announced this week it will begin verifying petition signatures submitted by proponents of a potential ballot measure aimed at encouraging the creation of affordable housing in Los Angeles.

The clerk’s office will examine a sampling of the 94,238 signatures submitted earlier this month by proponents of the Build Better L.A. initiative.

If enough of the signatures are verified as belonging to registered voters, the City Council would then be tasked with deciding whether to adopt the ordinance as-is, call a special election or place the measure on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.

The petitioners need at least 61,487 of the signatures to be valid to move forward. The city clerk has until June 14 to verify a statistical sampling of the signatures.

If based on the sample, the number of signatures does not meet the required threshold, the clerk would have another 30 days to verify each of the 94,238 submitted signatures to make a more conclusive finding.

Proponents say the Affordable Housing and Labor Standards for General Plan Amendments and Zoning Changes proposal calls for developers seeking amendments to existing zoning and planning rules to make a percentage of the units affordable.

The measure also calls for incentives for building more affordable residential units near transit hubs, and would set up local hire rules around wage and working condition standards.

Critics have said the measure would lead to more developments that require exceptions to be made to existing zoning rules that currently limit the height and density of projects.

Backers of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative—which is proposed for the March 2017 ballot—contend the Build Better L.A. measure would “boost gridlock and hasten demolitions in rent-stabilized communities, all while accelerating L.A.’s price-gouging luxury housing craze.”