Assessing Health and Equity Impacts of the Proposed Reef Development Project in South Central Los Angeles

October 2015

A report on health and equity effects of a proposed development in South Central Los Angeles.


The Problem

The proposed Reef Development Project in South Central Los Angeles would cover nearly 10 acres and include two 30+ story towers with over 500 new residential units. People currently living in the community have low incomes and are therefore especially vulnerable to impacts of financial strain and displacement, including homelessness.

What We Did

In 2015, HIP partnered with SAJE (Strategic Actions for a Just Economy), Esperanza Housing Corporation, and other member organizations of the UNIDAD Coalition to understand the health and equity impacts of the proposed development. The study drew on data from published research, Census data, public health data, and insights from community members and small business owners through focus groups and interviews.

What We Found

The neighborhood near the proposed development has the highest levels of overcrowding and homelessness in the nation, and poverty rates close to 50%. Nearly 44,000 residents who live within 2 miles of the proposed development are at risk of financial strain or displacement due to likely increases in housing costs that the development would bring, and some residents anticipate they may become homeless. Yet plans for the Reef do not include any affordable housing units and displacement was not judged to be a concern.

I keep thinking, ‘What am I going to do if this doesn’t
work out? Where am I going to go? Am I going to see my
neighbors again? Where am I going to find this kind of
community again? Going to have to start over. Going to be
homeless, without a family.’

– Anayetzy, community member


The study was submitted as a public comment to the Draft Environmental Impact Review of the proposed development. Local news sources covered the release of the report and advocates are using the findings and recommendations in meetings with city council members, planners, and at community events.