Our Stories

No on Los Angeles City Measure S


Last November Public Counsel celebrated the passages of Measures JJJ and HHH – two initiatives that voters overwhelmingly supported to advance real solutions to address our homelessness and affordable housing crises.

This March ballot contains a very different measure - Measure S – which threatens to delay or stop projects that would otherwise provide affordable housing, and housing for homeless people. Measure S puts a two-year moratorium on development projects requiring certain zoning or height exemptions, and permanently prohibits developments requiring a general plan amendment. As such, it could actually stop projects that would provide permanent supportive housing for people that are homeless – housing that voters approved with the passage of Measure HHH in November. 

We don’t disagree with some of the ideas in Measure S – for example - the idea that the City should be updating the Community Plans or that the City could improve oversight of environmental reviews. But why arbitrarily block needed affordable housing projects? Measure S’s moratorium, and its permanent prohibition on the City’s ability to issue general plan amendments, will be detrimental to our clients that are in need of affordable housing. (Although the backers of Measure S claim to exempt affordable housing, Measure S does not actually exempt all 100% affordable housing projects from its reach, and would effectively stop 90% of city-sponsored affordable housing projects).

Although it is touted as a way to preserve housing for Los Angeles’s poorest residents, Measure S doesn’t actually contain any tools to preserve or produce affordable housing. In fact, its moratorium on some development could steer developers towards other types of development – for example - conversions of rent-stabilized housing to condos– threatening further displacement of low-income renters. And while Measure S purports to address corporate greed and backroom deals, we see nothing in Measure S that accomplishes those goals.

By blocking desperately needed affordable housing, Measure S puts forth a vision for Los Angeles that excludes many of Public Counsel’s clients. We oppose Measure S.