From the Foundation Up: Affordable Housing in Los Angeles


Angelica Lopez

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This summer I was an intern at East LA Community Corporation located in Boyle Heights, just east of the Los Angeles River. East LA Community Corporation or ELACC has a Community Organizing Department that works with the community at a grassroots level to attack the various issues that concern the residents of Boyle Heights. One of the main issues that plague the community is the problem of affordable housing. ELACC's Community Organizing Department sought to empower the community through civic action as a way to engage the community in the united quest for affordable housing. I was brought on board to help establish a Housing Committee that would address the needs of current Boyle Heights tenants. This was a project that sought to educate a community, in which 75% of the population are renters, of their rights as tenants. We also sought to advocate that future redevelopment projects in the area address the need of affordable housing units for current Boyle Heights tenants. Community empowerment was done by conducting outreach, surveying several Boyle Heights tenants and attending various community meetings. The establishment of a Housing Committee at East LA Community Corporation is but the first step toward the quest for affordable housing. There is still much needed work as the battle for affordable housing has only begun.


Peter Dreier




Union Bank

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