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February 2012

How Maturing Subsidized Mortgages Threaten
Affordable Housing in Los Angeles

A Report on At-Risk Affordable Housing in Los Angeles
by Public Counsel and the Coalition for Economic Survival


Los Angeles continues to face a shortage of housing that is affordable to low-income residents. Meanwhile, much of the City’s affordable housing is at risk of being lost in the next few years due to the maturity of HUD-subsidized mortgages. This report describes what’s at risk and why, and outlines some responses that are needed to keep this housing affordable.

The Coalition for Economic Survival (CES) has been providing outreach, training and organizing assistance to tenants living in HUD subsidized housing where owners are seeking to opt-out of the project-based Section 8 rent subsidy contract or prepay the HUD subsidized mortgage, thus removing federal rent restrictions for over two decades. CES’ work has resulted in many subsidized housing units being preserved as affordable. But, many more units are still at-risk. This report describes the crisis that is upon us.

CES tenant leaders living at an at-risk HUD subsidized housing complex explain their fight to preserve their affordable housing to United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing Raquel Rolnik in November 2009. La Villa Hermosa Apartments is in South Los Angeles close to the University of Southern California where many landlords have been pushing out long term, low rent tenants in order to get higher rents from short term USC students.

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