Housing and Land Use Justice

Social Housing


The term social housing is commonly used to describe a range of housing ownership, subsidy, and regulation models in Europe, South America and elsewhere around the globe. These models often go far beyond what’s known as “affordable housing” in the U.S. to promote permanent affordability, democratic resident control, and social equality. First popularized in the U.S. by the People’s Policy Project, the term is gaining currency thanks to the Homes Guarantee campaign, a grassroots effort aiming to provide every person in the U.S. with safe, accessible, sustainable, and permanently affordable housing.
Source: Community Service Society

Opportunity for Change

Los Angeles has some of the most unaffordable and overcrowded housing in the country. ACT-LA fights for policies that both build and preserve affordable housing and housing, especially near transit, that Angelenos can afford. In 2021, ACT-LA launched a social housing campaign focused on generating a large scale of permanently affordable, community-controlled housing.

Our Vision

Our vision for social housing in Los Angeles County: Everyone in Los Angeles will have access to housing that fits their family’s size, needs, and budget in housing communities that are dignified spaces, in a safe and healthy environment, and with access to economic, social and cultural resources. Housing is planned thoughtfully in its quality, design, amenities and size to meet our housing needs. Residents have control and decision-making power over their housing, can exercise self-determination, and build community through collective ownership of their homes and land. Everyone will have equal access to live in whichever neighborhood they choose, families can choose to stay in their homes for as long as they want, and future generations will have the choice to continue living in the same neighborhoods their families live in.

Resources and Updates

Illustration of a social housing protoptype building from an aerial view
“Hope on Union” Koreatown social housing prototype designed by Amera Youssef, Cameron Meier, Madha Nawal, and Nora Masler

Collaboration with Northeastern University
In collaboration with Professor Lily Song’s Anti Displacement Studio, undergraduate and graduate architecture students researched models of social housing across the world and built prototypes of social housing designs for Los Angeles. Click here to view the presentations and learn more.

California State Work on Social Housing
The California State Assembly’s Select Committee on Social Housing’s Introduction to Social Housing Presentation (October 20, 2021).

Public Letters
ACT-LA Letter to LA Metro in support of land banking at Metro
— September 21, 2022

Related Partnerships

ACT-LA is a member of the LA Housing Movement Lab, a convening of community and nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles county working to decommodify housing—no longer have housing as a commodity to be sold and used for profit on the private market—in Los Angeles.

Take Action

ACT-LA is a member of the United to House LA coalition and hopes to pass the “House LA” ballot initiative in 2022, which would significantly fund permanently affordable housing in Los Angeles. Click here to learn more.