FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2020
Ralph Jean, firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Donlin, email@example.com
Kaitlyn Quackenbush, firstname.lastname@example.org
South Central Community Organizations Propose Bold & Innovative Solutions to COVID-19 Recovery
Community based organizations and LA tenants seek to disrupt corporate take over of community land and create a new landscape for recovery
LOS ANGELES — While the nation begins its transition of power, COVID-19 new infection records are set almost daily. As hundreds of thousands of tenants risk houselessness and millions more await a plan to recover from this natural disaster. The Just Recovery Series: The Los Angeles Housing Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19 is the first in a three part series examining policies that have created key threats to housing security and recommends immediate and long term community based policies to create a Los Angeles where vulnerable residents can thrive post COVID-19.
COVID-19 has created a financial crisis in addition to a public health crisis. Hundreds of thousands of residents are unemployed and in risk of eviction and permanent displacement due to the pandemic. Following the financial devastation of the Great Recession, private equity firms bought distressed properties and made millions of dollars from the misfortune and continued degradation of low income and very low income communities. Rents paid by Los Angeles tenants flowed out of the community and into the investment portfolios of Wall Street. Already In Los Angeles County, over 43% of residential rental units and more than 55% of multifamily units are directly owned by nationally operated private corporations.
Community-based organizations, working-class tenants, advocates, and state actors, have a unique opportunity to shift the status quo of structural inequality through housing by enacting policies that disrupt patterns of corporate conquest in low-income communities of color.
“Whether it’s a global virus outbreak, a destructive earthquake, or raging forest fire, public policy decisions impact how much death, destruction, and misery follow disasters,” said Kaityn Quackenbush, co-author of the report and Assistant Director of Policy and Research at SAJE. “It’s not just the issue of determining who owns LA, it’s about deciding which communities get to survive past this crisis.”
Since 1996, SAJE has been a force for economic justice in Los Angeles. For over 20 years we have worked side-by-side with our neighbors to improve our community by advocating for tenant rights, healthy housing, and equitable development.