LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Chair Holly J. Mitchell to establish a Countywide Anti-Displacement Commercial Property Acquisition Program. The motion directs the Department of Economic Opportunity to develop a strategy for allocating $12 million in funding to support small businesses at risk of displacement – that are led by women, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) – in acquiring the property they are currently leasing to promote community stability and build wealth. The motion will transform tenants into potential owners to preserve small businesses in neighborhoods up against corporate buyers.
Approval of this motion also launches an acquisition pilot led by small businesses in the historic Leimert Park community of South Los Angeles that are part of the nonprofit, Black Owned and Operated Community Land Trust (BOOCLT). The pilot, underwritten by the Community Development Financial Institution, Genesis LA, will administer a $2 million forgivable loan to allow BOOCLT to acquire the building they are currently leasing located in the heart of the Leimert Park Village on Degnan Blvd.
“Our small businesses are the anchors of our local economies. This is about providing long-term strategies to protect small businesses from having to close their doors due to rising rents and real estate speculation” said Holly J. Mitchell, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, representing the Second District. “I am proud to establish a first-of its-kind program to help stabilize our cultural anchors and commercial corridors across the County. It is my hope that the findings from the Leimert Park acquisition pilot enable small business owners throughout the County to be securely planted in the communities they serve.”
“My bike shop is the first one in Leimert Park in over 30 years. This is emblematic of how hard and long it can take for Black small business owners to return to the communities they represent once they are pushed out. We need sustainable investments to stand up to corporate buyers and this pilot and anti-displacement plan is critical to protecting the make-up of our communities” said Adé Neff, Owner of Ride On! and Member of BOOCLT.
In addition to the 55-year covenant requiring below market commercial rent for tenants in the acquired property, the motion includes a provision requiring BOOCLT to implement a robust process for gaining community input before any potential redevelopment of the property can be done. To read the full motion, click here.