Every person wants the comfort of a quality and affordable place to live, feeling connected to their neighbors, and seeing that their family thrives.
To lessen the negative, unintended consequences that might result from the Transformative Climate Communities grant and other investments in the community, the Watts Rising Collaborative is currently implementing a Displacement Avoidance Plan (DAP). The overall goal of the plan is to connect Watts residents – renters, homeowners, and business owners – to resources, information, and policy interventions to help them stay rooted in their community.
The DAP is overseen by Mayor Bass’ Office of Economic Opportunity (MOEO) with Watts/Century Latino Organization (W/CLO) serving as the lead, community-based partner.
The Mayor's Office of Economic Opportunity aims to place racial equity at the forefront of all City operations, to empower youth through educational programs, to strengthen the City’s workforce, and to build a strong community infrastructure through place-based strategies.
Watts/Century Latino Organization (W/CLO) has worked to empower and support the development of healthy neighborhoods and self-sufficient families in Watts since 1990. W/CLO’s primary objective is to become one of the leading Latino economic and human capital development corporations in California. W/CLO is guided by the commitment to serve the Watts community by promoting individual and collective responsibility, strengthening family values, and working in solidarity with those seeking to build a more equitable and inclusive society. During the last 32 years W/CLO has served as a resource center for the development and implementation of various initiatives and services programs including parental involvement in school reform, youth and parent leadership development focused on violence prevention, school and community safety, credit building, home ownership education and foreclosure counseling, community beautification, financial education and other special projects.
To assist with implementation of the plan, MOEO convenes the Displacement Avoidance Working Group (DAWG), comprised of W/CLO (Watts/Century Latino Organization), the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA, Watts Rising’s co-lead agency), the L.A. Housing Department, the L.A. Business Source Center, and various Watts Rising project partners.
During early implementation of the TCC grant, the DAWG conducted an assessment of Watts Rising’s TCC projects to identify and proactively troubleshoot project components that may unintentionally contribute to displacement. Whenever possible and feasible, adjustments have been made in the project design to prioritize residents that may be more seriously affected by the project’s implementation (i.e. homeowners surrounding the two TCC parks and Jordan Downs redevelopment receiving priority consideration for solar panel installation, etc.). Each project partner was also required to submit a list of all job opportunities available for local residents that are created by their specific project, to ensure that community residents are able to participate in the economic growth and beautification of their community in the long-term.
In addition to the individual project assessments, the Mayor’s Office, Watts/Century Latino Organization and DAWG member agencies are implementing programming and developing policy to address displacement faced by renters, homeowners, and small businesses.
A major area of stress and worry for residents is rent and Los Angeles’ high cost-of-living. To address this issue, the Watts Rising Collaborative’s Displacement Avoidance team has been providing the community of Watts with many resources aimed at helping them stay rooted in their community.