Eastside LEADS Wins USC Graduate Student Housing Appeal


By Miranda Ynez

On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, the Eastside LEADS coalition, of which SHG is a part of as a member, took to Los Angeles City Hall with coalition partners and residents and won important community benefit concessions from the University of Southern California (USC) and its contracted developer, American Campus Communities (ACC); in relation to a 95-unit graduate student housing project to be built on the University’s Health Science Campus (HSC) in Boyle Heights. This community win is a result of the Eastside LEADS coalition’s six-month campaign to challenge USC and ACC’s development that began on June 26, 2018.

As one of the largest institutions with developments on the Eastside, USC has been moving forward with a 30-year master plan for its Health Science Campus without what the Eastside LEADS coalition believes is enough community stewardship and inclusion in the planning process. Due to the strong determination of residents directly impacted and in the peripheral, there is now a commitment by USC to hold ongoing discussions with community stakeholders about its future construction.

Some of the outcomes from this action include:

  • Job training fund of up to $100,000

  • The hiring of residents that live near the project for at least 25% of the total construction jobs

  • Reserving at least 10% of the jobs for residents with barriers to employment (i.e. disadvantaged workers)

As a coalition member of Eastside LEADS, SHG pledges to support anti-displacement policy driven change for the long-term sustainability of our community to promote a shared a vision of informing, empowering and healing in a way that is inclusive of all. Read more about our advocacy here.

Miranda Ynez is a Self Help Graphics & Art Project Manager and an Arts Management professional committed to increasing participation in the arts and culture through our local communities. Story edited by Jennifer Cuevas.