Tag Archives: Antonio Villaraigosa

20,000 affordable homes to be built in LA

by Cynthia de Castro/AJPress

LOS ANGELES -  is the second largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of 3.8 million. Though thousands migrate to Los Angeles yearly, housing in Los Angeles remains unaffordable and out of reach for too many middle class families. In 2007, more than 5,200 LA families lost their homes to foreclosure – and that number is expected to rise to 10,000 by the end of 2008. At the same time, parents are spending more than half of their incomes on housing. Only 11 percent of the area’s households can afford a median-priced home and approximately 40,000 people sleep on the streets of the City each night.

As part of his effort to put a roof over the head of all City residents, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently unveiled Housing That Works- a five-year, $5 billion plan to build 20,000 affordable housing units and make Los Angeles a more affordable place of middle-class families to live and work.

“This City’s economic success and vitality depend on our ability to plan for a future of sustainability and stability in our housing market,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “This plan lays the building blocks of housing our middle class can afford and takes the first steps

toward building “housing that works” for all Angelenos.”

Housing That Works represents the first time that all housing and planning departments are coming together in a coordinated effort, with one strategy to invest in affordable housing. This coordinated effort will bring a new level of transparency and stability to the City’s housing investment strategy, which will allow it to leverage $1 billion in public funds into a $5 billion investment in affordable housing throughout local neighborhoods.

The Mayor’s Office will coordinate resources from different departments and develop public/private partnerships to reach the 5 billion dollar goal. The $700 million investment from Enterprise Community Partners is a testament to this new strategy.

“Enterprise is pleased to step forward as an early and major partner in this effort to create fit, affordable and sustainable homes for all residents of the City,” said Doris Koo, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners. “Our pledge of $700 million dollars reflects our commitment to focus Enterprise’s energy and resources into making the City of Los Angeles a vibrant and thriving community,” Koo continued.

Using the funding from this capital campaign, Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan pledges to build and preserve 20,000 affordable homes – double the number of units constructed since the beginning of the Mayor’s time in office. This includes implementing a mixed-income housing ordinance that requires the City’s largest developers to offer units at prices LA’s workforce can afford.

In addition, this initiative will create 20 sustainable transit communities focusing new development in the areas where it makes the most sense – along public transit corridors and close to job centers.

Another key component of Housing That Works involves shifting the City’s strategy from managing homelessness to moving people out of it. The plan funds 2,200 permanent supportive housing units – where homeless men and women are connected to social services – and expands Section 8 voucher programs for the chronically homeless. It also puts the pieces in place to complete the redevelopment of Jordan Downs and transform

LA’s public housing sites into vibrant, mixed-income communities.

The final part of Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan will protect LA’s homes and neighborhoods by addressing the foreclosure crisis through the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative; preserving the affordability of 14,000 rental units; and educating Angelenos about their rights as landlords and tenants.

Housing That Works takes the first steps in the City’s effort to address these challenges, reverse the negative trends of recent years, and bridge the ever-growing gap between the housing LA produces and the housing it needs.

The city departments and agencies included in Housing That Works are: the LA Housing Department, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, the Community Redevelopment Agency, the LA Homelessness Services Authority, and the Planning Department.   (www.asianjournal.com)

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Villaraigosa unveils cornerstone of “Housing that Works” for all Angelenos

by Rene Villaroman/AJPress

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday, September 29, unveiled “Housing That Works,” a five-year, $5 billion plan to build 20,000 affordable housing units and make Los Angeles a more affordable place of middle class families to live and work. “This city’s economic success and vitality depend on our ability to plan for a future of sustainability in our housing market,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “This plan lays the building blocks of housing our middle class can afford and takes the first steps toward building ‘housing that works’ for all Angelenos.”

“Housing That Works” represents the first time that all housing and planning departments are coming together in a coordinated effort, with one strategy to invest in affordable housing. This coordinated effort will bring a new level of transparency and stability to the City’s housing investment strategy, which will allow it to leverage $1 billion in public funds into a $5 billion investment in affordable housing throughout local neighborhoods.

The Mayor’s Office will coordinate resources from different departments and develop public/private partnerships to reach the $5 billion goal. The $700 million investment from Enterprise Community Partners announced on Monday, September 29, is a testament to this new strategy.

“Mayor Villaraigosa has presented a far-sighted vision addressing the need for affordable housing in the City of Los Angeles. Enterprise is pleased to step forward as an early and major partner in this effort to create fit, affordable and sustainable homes for all residents of the City,” said Doris Koo, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners.

“Our pledge of $700 million reflects our commitment to focus Enterprise’s energy and resources into making the City of Los Angeles a vibrant and thriving community,” Koo continued.

Using the funding from this capital campaign, Villaraigosa’s plan pledges to build and preserve 20,000 affordable homes in areas that make the most sense – double the number of units constructed since the beginning of the Mayor’s time in office. This includes implementing a mixed-income housing ordinance that requires the City’s largest developers to offer units at prices LA’s workforce can afford.

I addition, this initiative will create 20 sustainable transit communities focusing new developments in the areas where it makes the most sense – along public transit corridors and close to job centers.

Another key component of the project involves shifting the City’s strategy from managing homelessness to moving people out of it. The plan funds 2,200 permanent supportive housing units—where homeless men and women are connected to social services—and expands Section 8 voucher programs for the chronically homeless. It also puts the pieces in place to complete the redevelopment of Jordan Downs and transform L.A.’s public housing sites into vibrant, mixed-income communities.

The final part of Mayor Villaraigosa’s plan will protect LA’s homes and neighborhoods by addressing the foreclosure crisis through the Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative; preserving the affordability of 14,000 rental units; and educating Angelenos about their rights as landlords and tenants.

Housing in Los Angeles remains unaffordable and out of reach for too many middle class families. In 2007, more than 5,200 LA families lost their homes to foreclosure—and that number is expected to rise to 10,000 by the end of 2008. At the same time, parents are spending more than half of their incomes on housing; only 11 per cent of the area’s households can afford a median-priced home; and approximately 40,000 people sleep on the streets of the City at night.

“Housing That Works” takes the first steps in the City’s effort to address these challenges, reverse the negative trends of recent years, and bridge the ever-growing gap between the housing LA produces and the housing it needs.  (www.asianjournal.com)

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‘Congress, get back to work!’–LA Mayor

by Cynthia de Castro/AJPress

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for Congress to put politics aside and get back to work for the American people to solve the financial crisis.

The full text of the Mayor’s statement on the financial crisis on Wall Street and Congressional actions released Tuesday, September 30, is as follows:

“By now, you no doubt know that the House of Representatives failed to pass financial rescue legislation today as planned, and the markets have been hit hard as a result. As mayor of one of the cities hardest hit by our nation’s foreclosure crisis, I implore our Congress to put politics aside and get back to work for the American people. This is not the time for partisan bickering. Too much is at stake. Too many families and employers are at risk.

“Now, let me be clear: no one, and I mean no one, should be happy about the federal government having to devote hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out failed lenders and investors. This economic crisis was inflicted upon the American people by corrupt power brokers and a reckless lack of federal oversight.

“But the consequences of doing nothing to fix it would be simply intolerable. The credit market could collapse. Small businesses would struggle or fail to meet payroll. Families would be shut out of the housing market, and would have no ability to get a car loan or student loan for college. On the City side, tax revenues would plummet and construction projects would be delayed or canceled. Bonds would become more expensive and pension contributions would go through the roof.

“This crisis is no longer about Wall Street or Washington politics. It’s about families and small businesses in small towns and big cities across the nation.

“It’s time for Congress to get back to work.”   (www.asianjournal.com)

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US Celebrates Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

by Cynthia De Castro/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – Across the United States last week, the month-long celebration of the Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month began with community festivals, government-sponsored cultural activities, and educational activities for students.

President George W. Bush led the country in May 1 with an affair in the White House. In his speech, President Bush mentioned the many Asian Pacific Americans in his administration and their vast contributions to the country.

Bush thanked all Asian Americans  “for helping make America a better place. We thank you for loving our country the way you do. Thank you for being great contributors to the life of our fellow citizens.”

“We honor citizens … who are now an integral part of America. More than 15 million Americans claim Asian or Pacific ancestry. They make America’s culture more vibrant, and we’re a better place — and a more lively place, I might add — from Songkran celebrations in Los Angeles to Chinese New Year parties in Chicago to Diwali festivals right here at the White House,” he said.

Bush highlighted the business contributions of Asians to the country’s economy. “Asian Pacific Americans make our country more competitive. It turns out there’s a great entrepreneurial streak that runs throughout the citizens whom we honor today. Small business owners all over America are creating new jobs and are living the dream. They enrich America because of their love for America,” the President said.

Another major contribution of Asians that the President cited was in the area of national and international security. “We’re working with nations all throughout the world, including those in the Asian Pacific region, to protect our peoples from the true threats of the 21st century. We’re working with Pakistan and Indonesia and Malaysia and the Philippines and other partners — and Singapore and other partners — to dismantle terrorist networks and to combat the ideology of the extremists,” he stated.

LA Mayor Villaraigosa and API American Heritage

In Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaragoiza and the City Council officially declared the opening of Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month last May 9 in the City of Los Angeles. During the affair, a proclamation ceremony was held in the City Hall Council Chambers in North Spring St, LA where the Mayor awarded four outstanding Asian honorees who received the City’s Spirit, Dream, and Hope awards. A reception followed at the City Hall Forecourt attended by a huge number of Asian Americans.

The Spirit of Los Angeles honoree was Deputy Chief Terry S. Hara, the Commanding Officer for Operations West Bureau (OWB), responsible for overseeing the geographic area operations of: Hollywood, Wilshire, West Los Angeles, Pacific, Station #20, the LAX Substation, and the West Traffic Divisions. Deputy Chief Hara joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in February 1980 and is the highest ranking and the first Asian American to achieve the rank of Deputy Chief on the LAPD.

The Dream honorees of Los Angeles are Peter and Charlie Woo, brothers and co-founders of Megatoys, a toy manufacturing company headquartered in Los Angeles, with an office in Hong Kong and manufacturing plant in China. They are also known as the founders of the Los Angeles Toy District, credited with turning the once blighted industrial area in Downtown Los Angeles into a thriving international trade center, where they helped hundreds of immigrant entrepreneurs start their businesses and create thousands of jobs.

The Hope of Los Angeles awardee is Takashi Saito, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Japan-born All-Star closer, who registered 24 saves in his rookie year of 2006 and 39 saves during the 2007 season. The 38-year-old was a 2007 National League All-Star, and one of 10 finalists for the “DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award.”

It is estimated that there are 14.9 million US residents as of July 2006 who said they were Asian alone or Asian in combination with one or more other races. The Filipinos make up the second largest Asian group next to the Chinese.

The Department of State reported in 2007 that the Filipino American community was estimated to be at 4 million, or 1.5% of the United States population. More than half of the community are either naturalized or American-born, while the remainder are Filipino nationals of dual citizens of both the Philippines and the United States.

(www.asianjournal.com)

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Hundreds May Lose Jobs in LA

By Cynthia de Castro/Asianjournal.com

LOS ANGELES – Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday that his proposed FY2008-2009 budget will include the layoff of 767 City employees to balance the city budget.

“The budget I will present to the City Council next week will include some deep cuts and difficult choices, but it will preserve our core priorities,” Mayor Villaraigosa said.

In the face of a $406 million projected budget shortfall for next year, the mayor said he is doing the necessary measures but reiterated his pledge to protect public safety.

“The budget will preserve our historic buildup of the Los Angeles Police Department, protect other critical public safety functions and infuse our neighborhoods most at risk of gang violence with targeted services our kids need to stay off the streets and of gangs,” said Villaraigosa.

Based on a comprehensive review of City services, the 767 positions to be eliminated will come from nearly every City department.

The Mayor’s FY2008-2009 budget – to be released on April 21 – will contain a list of additional cost-saving measures, including potential mandatory furloughs and shortened work weeks. Included in the plan will be $1.50 in spending cuts for every dollar in new revenue.

(www.asianjournal.com)

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