Fall and Winter Advocacy Recap

During the fall and winter season, Brilliant Corners continued to pursue advocacy opportunities aimed at safeguarding affordable housing, increasing housing production and preservation, and increasing funding for homeless response systems. Over the last few months, we joined our partners in the homeless response and affordable housing development sectors to take action on local, state, and federal initiatives. 

At the Federal Level

HOME Investment Partnerships Program

We submitted a letter to the CA House of Representatives in October 2023 in partnership with the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH), to urge Congress to fund the HOME Investment Partnerships Program in Fiscal Year 2024, which is in danger of being cut. The HOME Program is the only federal housing program focused exclusively on providing states and local communities with flexible capital to address their most pressing affordable housing needs, and the proposed cut would result in 2,000 or more fewer units of affordable housing built in California each year. Affordable housing and flexible capital are tangible ways that we can address the critical needs of the unsheltered community and address the housing crisis in our country, and the HOME Program would ensure much-needed affordable units and funding to address the needs of Californians experiencing homelessness. 

At the State Level

ACA 13

In September of 2023, Brilliant Corners joined California Calls, a growing coalition of 31 grassroots, community-based organizations spanning urban, rural and suburban counties across the state, to express support for the Assembly Constitutional Amendment (ACA) 13. ACA 13 would give voters the opportunity to require that any ballot initiative that increases voter approval thresholds also be approved at that same higher level. This amendment would keep the voter threshold at a majority of voters, unless the effort for 2/3 is also met by 2/3 vote. ACA 13 is significant to Brilliant Corners as it would remedy instances where previously approved ballot measures have been challenged, including Measure J and Measure ULA.

AB 785 and AB 1734 

We continued to build our advocacy momentum in September, when we partnered with SCANPH to submit letters of opposition to state Assembly bills AB 785 and AB 1734. These two bills aimed to offer exemptions from the Surplus Land Act and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for affordable housing developments, but added Project Labor Agreement (PLA) requirements for projects over 40 units, which would add costs without offering any additional funding to affordable housing developers, and could result in the addition of PLA requirements in future housing bills. Brilliant Corners opposed these bills as they could create additional and ongoing impediments for affordable housing developers.

Anticipatory Budget Press Release

In January 2024,  we kicked off the new year joining efforts with the California Housing Budget Coalition to sign on to an Anticipatory Budget Press Release. This press release, from a coalition of California’s leading housing organizations, addressed proposed budget changes affecting affordable housing and homelessness programs, emphasized the necessity of maintaining or increasing funding levels, and urged support for a statewide housing bond to ensure stable resources for critical housing programs. As a supportive housing provider, we must ensure that funding levels and stable resources are available for the vital programs that house and support individuals experiencing homelessness. 

CA Delegation Voucher Funding Sign-on Letter
In late January, we collaborated with Center on Budget and Policy Priorities along with Housing California, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) , National Housing Law Project, The People Concern and several other key stakeholders to submit a letter of support for the CA Delegation Voucher Funding Sign-on Letter. The letter urged the California Congressional delegation to take action in support of including full funding for housing vouchers and other key affordable housing and homelessness programs in the final budget. 

AB 1657

In February, we joined Housing California and the Bring California Home coalition to sign on to AB 1657, the Affordable Housing Bond. AB 1657 would place a $10 billion affordable housing bond on the November 2024 ballot to fund affordable housing development. This critical bill would create long-term funding to increase affordable housing to address the growing housing needs across the state.

Local Advocacy 

Affordable Housing, Homelessness Solutions, and Prevention Now Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance

In December, we proudly endorsed the LA County 2024 Citizens Ballot Initiative, “Affordable Housing, Homelessness Solutions, and Prevention Now Transactions and Use Tax Ordinance.” Like United to House LA and Measure J in recent years, this ballot initiative provides an opportunity to leverage the collective will of our community to provide funding and solutions for housing and homelessness, on an ongoing basis – and is a crucial investment in how our work is funded for years to come. This measure would replace Measure H, the existing ¼ cent sales tax that currently funds the homelessness response system and is set to expire in 2027. 

Fair Chance Housing Ordinance
We are continuing the efforts in our campaign to bring about the LA County Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, which would give equal access in the housing application process to people in LA County who have experienced incarceration. Brilliant Corners Director of External Affairs, Jose Osuna, continues to actively work with stakeholders at the local level to support the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance for the City of LA on a parallel track. If you would like to learn more or want to participate in the coalition or the campaign in any way, please reach out to our Director of External Affairs, Jose Osuna, at josuna@brilliantcorners.org.