It is with excitement that Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County releases its White Paper on Transit Oriented Development and Affordable Communities.
The Los Angeles region faces a housing affordability crisis. A report issued last year by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University found Los Angeles to be the least affordable housing market in the country. Meanwhile Los Angeles' homeownership rate languished at 35.9% in 2013, lower than it was in 2000 and one of the lowest rates among major American cities.
Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) offers a potential tool to ease this affordability crisis, as transit corridors throughout Los Angeles County are developed. The white paper examines both the opportunities and the risks of TOD in its relationship to employment and housing. The report highlights the need for economic development and good jobs along transit corridors, as well as the risks that TOD presents for residents with low incomes and high-rent burdens. Finally, the report offers a series of policy options to ensure that the opportunity to serve some of LA's most underserved neighborhoods is not missed.
We welcome your comments and feedback. We are excited about the opportunity for further dialogue and transformative work in the months ahead. Click here to read the full report
We help families of modest means become homeowners
. We also help struggling families save their home and preserve their neighborhoods from foreclosures. Whether you are trying to buy a home, save your home, or fix your home, we are here to provide help
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we provide to families every day through:
Meet NHS Client: Clelia Thompson
(left to right): NHS CEO and President Lori Gay, Ms. Clelia Thompson, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, & Ms. Thompson’s daughter Deanie.
Clelia Thompson has lived at 94th and Main for over 48 years. She had happy times there, and she had hard times, too. There were occasions to celebrate and times to mourn. But through it all, Ms. Thompson had a place she could call home, and a place that her children could call home. Friendships came and went, the neighborhood changed, and several of Clelia’s children passed away tragically. The lone constant was Clelia’s duplex on Main, a steady bedrock where she planned to grow old.
All that got thrown into jeopardy in February 2015. After falling behind on her payments, her home was foreclosed on. The bank allowed Ms. Thompson to stay in her home, but sold the property to an unscrupulous landlord who began charging her rent that was more than double her previous payment. After a couple more months, the eviction notice came; she had to be out in a week.
After being contacted by the office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters, NHS got in touch with Ms. Thompson, learned about her situation, and decided to get involved. NHS purchased the property, allowing her to stay in the place she’s called home for nearly half a century. In addition to keeping her there, NHS’ construction team is working on rehabbing her property, fixing up Clelia’s kitchen, floors, and roof so she can continue to live safely and comfortably.
While NHS is happy to help Ms. Thompson, her situation is not an isolated one. Seniors continue to be especially vulnerable to economic shocks and medical events that can tip them into foreclosure, yet they are the least equipped to transition into a new situation given their frequently small and fixed incomes and health issues. A sudden move or the prospect of homelessness can lead to severe negative mental, emotional, and health effects.
Sadly we expect to see more of this, not less. In 2005, there were about 93,000 seniors living in poverty in Los Angeles County. By 2014, that number had nearly doubled to 168,000. With an appreciating real estate market and high rents becoming the norm, there are too many people that are willing to take advantage of these seniors when they fall behind on their payments.
At NHS we believe we can and must do more to help the senior population. No one is more central to a community than its elders; they hold the community’s history and culture, and bring bounties of wisdom and perspective. Let’s not forget that, even as we look at the next ‘hot’ real estate opportunity.