Measure ULA Moves Forward, Freeing Up Funds For Affordable Housing In Los Angeles

Although residents of Los Angeles approved Measure ULA last year by a majority of voters in the City of Los Angeles, the city has not yet begun to experience the full benefit of the new tax revenue because of a lawsuit.

The policy cleared an important hurdle in September, when a judge dismissed a lawsuit from a coalition of real estate industry leaders and homeowners alleging that it violated the city charter. The City of Los Angeles has been collecting revenue from the tax since the policy went into effect on April 1, 2023, and has generated almost $100 million so far. Now, the City can make plans to spend those funds on affordable housing production and services to prevent homelessness.

The revenue earned from Measure ULA is estimated to fund the production of around 26,000 affordable homes over the next ten years, as well as provide support for renters such as cash assistance. In addition to funding affordable housing, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass signed an executive order in late 2022, Executive Directive No. 1 (ED 1) that has shortened the approvals process for 11,000 proposed affordable homes.

An efficient approvals process can make a big difference in the overall cost and construction time for an affordable housing development, so streamlining policies such as ED 1 are crucial to addressing our region’s housing shortage. While ED 1 was a temporary measure, the City Council is currently discussing the best ways to pass a permanent law with similar benefits in 2024.

In the City of Los Angeles and surrounding counties, Mercy Housing has around 1,000 new affordable homes in development. We applaud the voters and leaders of Los Angeles for partnering with us to act with the scale and urgency that our state’s housing crisis demands.