LA City Council Restores CRA/LA to Full Operations

Thu, 08/11/2011 (All day)
Advocacy Team (if applicable): 

Community Redevelopment Agency, City of Los AngelesThe Community Redevelopment Agency for the City of LA has been restored to full operation by a 13-0 Los Angeles City Council vote.  Two state bills approved this June called for dissolution of California's 400 redevelopment agencies, unless cities or counties vote to reinstate their agency and pay a pro-rated share of $1.7 billion, to be used to help balance the state budget.  Los Angeles' City Council voted Wednesday to reinstate agency activities and pay Los Angeles' $96.5 million annual share of the state budget payments.

CRA/LA's press release thanks the City Council for their swift action, and quotes CEO Christine Essel as saying, "We’re grateful the mayor and City Council have been so strongly supportive of CRA/LA’s mission, and have acted quickly so we may return to full operations as soon as possible. We look forward to getting back to doing what we do best, helping revitalize this city’s neediest neighborhoods, building affordable housing, putting people back to work in good jobs and transforming this city."

The Los Angeles Times story on the CRA/LA vote mentions that the agency has compiled a list of projects that will receive funding between now and 2016.  The CRA/LA press release lists four projects that had been put on hold by the June legislation that will now move forward immediately:

· Sylmar Court affordable housing project
· Authorization to receive grant funds for “brownfields” environmental remediation work in CRA/LA project areas around the harbor and south of Downtown
· Acquisition of the long-closed Linda Vista Hospital in Boyle Heights, for conversion to affordable housing
· Industrial Incentive Program funding for Greenbar/Modern Spirits, a small organic spirits company relocating to and expanding operations in the Cleantech Corridor of downtown

Before the June legislation, many of the CRA/LA's development projects included arts components, such as the rehabilitation of the historic Westlake Theatre, the development of the Noho Senior Arts Colony, construction of the Wattstar Theater in South Los Angeles, the Chinatown Cultural Capital Plan, adaptive reuse of the Reseda Theatre, and development of artist housing across the street from the Metro Gold Line Mariachi Station. 

According to the CRA/LA press release, "Dozens of other stalled CRA/LA projects across the city will be considered as part of the agency’s delayed 2011-2012 budget, which with today’s vote now will be scheduled for council consideration in about a month."

Arts for LA will continue to provide updates on this issue as they become available.