The Village at USC means changes in South LA

The Los Angeles City Council’s 15-0 vote on Tuesday to approve the University of Southern California’s proposed renovation and expansion of The Village at USC on the northern side of the University Park campus came after years of negotiations between USC and community groups. Below is a joint statement issued by USC, UNIDAD Coalition (United Neighbors in Defense Against Displacement, which includes: Community Development Technologies Center (“CDTech”); Esperanza Community Housing Corporation; Tenemos que Reclamar y Unidos Salvar La Tierra-South LA (“T.R.U.S.T. South LA”); Playa Vista Job Opportunities and Business Services (“PV JOBS”); Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (“SAJE”); St. Francis Center; United University Church; Blazers Youth Services Community Club; and St. Agnes Church; and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles.


USC and the UNIDAD Coalition are proud to announce the following community benefits that will be included as part of the Development Agreement for USC’s Specific Plan.

In connection with its 20 year development plan and consistent with USC’s longstanding commitment to civic engagement, USC has agreed to provide $15-20 million in affordable housing funds for use in the neighborhoods surrounding the University Park Campus; create a legal clinic within the USC Gould School of Law that provides assistance to tenants currently living in surrounding neighborhoods; and construct 4,038 net new student beds on campus. USC has further committed to: local (30%) and disadvantaged (10%) hiring for the thousands of both permanent and construction jobs created by the project, most of which are union or meet or exceed the City’s Living Wage Ordinance; funding for job training and job placement services for local residents; business assistance for up to 40 local small businesses; relocation assistance for qualifying existing University Village businesses; mechanisms for bringing existing businesses back to the new University Village project once constructed; a 15% local procurement goal; and funding for parks and community gardens. In addition, the UNIDAD Coalition and USC have established an Economic Development Coordinating Council – a collaborative effort to create a job training and placement pipeline for South Los Angeles residents. This coordinating council will also bring together services to strengthen and develop new small businesses along the corridors surrounding the University Park Campus in South Los Angeles.

USC, the UNIDAD Coalition, and other community stakeholders have engaged in an ongoing dialogue in the spirit of establishing benefits that improve the quality of life for residents and University students, in and around South Los Angeles. A collaborative public process has played a key role in bringing about these community benefits that will provide critical investments in the local community. USC appreciates the value everyone brought to and will continue to bring to neighborhood revitalization efforts, including the UNIDAD Coalition, faith leaders, parents of students in USC’s Family of Schools, and local community and business organizations, and are hopeful this effort will create pathways for future collaborations that are fundamental to the creation of a healthy South Los Angeles.

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