Every person wants the comfort of a quality and affordable place to live, feeling connected to their neighbors, and seeing that their family thrives.


Academic research and personal experiences show that when large amounts of money (or capital investment) flow into a community where low-income individuals, undocumented immigrants, and people of color live, current residents often experience issues that prevent them from having an affordable place to live. They might face an increase in residential and commercial rents, landlords doing illegal evictions, not maintaining homes or harassing renters, and small businesses being unable to compete with big box retailers, or other programs. This process is sometimes referred to as gentrification. These issues can cause current residents to no longer be able to afford their rent and force them to leave their community in search of housing or business space they can afford. This result is sometimes called “displacement”.

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.

Lead Partners

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.

Displacement Avoidance Working Group

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.

Highlights of the Displacement Avoidance Plan* include:

  • Promote financial education and resources
  • Promote well-paying jobs in the green, blue, and public service sectors
  • Produce affordable housing, to meet market demand by building 81 units of affordable in the Jordan Downs public housing community redevelopment
  • Conduct tenants’ rights awareness and legal education workshops so that Watts residents can be equipped with adequate knowledge to combat illegal landlord practices
  • Refer qualifying residents to the City of L.A.’s Right to Counsel resources and other rental assistance programs
  • Explore and adopt policy interventions that can increase Watts residents’ access to affordable housing
  • Provide current homeowners with free energy retrofit and solar panel installation services to increase the value of their properties, lower household expenses, and increase familial wealth
  • Promote home ownership through increasing Watts residents’ participation in the City’s Low-Income and Moderate-Income Home Purchase Assistance Programs
  • Connecting homeowners to programs that increase their property’s equity through the legalization of existing units and construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs; aka ‘granny flats’)
  • Help small businesses to become more profitable, innovative and sustainable by connecting them to business coaching, workshops, and loans and grants offered by the L.A. BusinessSource program, Macedonia Community Development Corporation, the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) and the L.A. Green Business Program
  • Provide information and training on how to bid on the various contracting opportunities created by Watts Rising

*The detailed workplan may be found here (pages 115-119).

Please visit the Renter & Homeowner and Businesses pages for specific events and resources.

For detailed information on DAP accomplishments, please visit Our Impact page.

More Details​

Renters and Homeowners​

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.

Business Resources

With change coming to Watts through investments such as TCC, Watts Rising aims to protect Watts’ commercial tenants and small businesses from displacement, with particular focus on low-income, minority- and woman-owned businesses that are owned by Watts residents.