Meet SCANPH Board Member Joan Ling

  Joan Ling, UCLA Lecturer in Urban Planning

Joan Ling, UCLA Lecturer in Urban Planning

SCANPH Board Members – the strength behind its success – are geographically diverse and serve as experts, practitioners, and advocates for supporting policy and programming that addresses the needs of economically disadvantaged individuals and families who are most in need of affordable housing. Our team is grateful to be backed by the decades of experience and expertise of the board, who reflect a diverse and representative body of SCANPH organizational members. 

SCANPH will introduce each of our board members and share background about the leadership we count on to guide our initiatives. 


Joan Ling serves on the SCANPH Policy Committee. She is a real estate adviser and policy analyst in urban planning. She has experience in real estate financial analysis; affordable housing and urban mixed-use development; and state and local land use, housing policy, legislation and regulation. Ling is Board Director, Housing California and MoveLA and former Treasurer of the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles and former Executive Director of the Community Corporation of Santa Monica. Her current research focus is on the nexus between land use policy and real estate development, as well as analysis of community benefits project and program level feasibility. 

Why were you interested in joining the board of SCANPH?
SCANPH is a progressive and effective organization that makes a big difference in addressing our affordability crisis, and I want to be a part of it.

What is the best part of your job (either for you organization or as a board member or both)?
I enjoy working with the next generation of affordable housing advocates and practitioners, as well as urban planning professionals and social justice advocates as a lecturer in the UCLA Urban Planning Department.  I also enjoy interacting with and learning from the diverse people on the SCANPH board and staff.

How did you first get involved in the affordable housing sector?
Graduate school at UCLA.  Alan Heskin took a leave of absence to found Community Corporation of Santa Monica. Gary Squier and Neal Richman became executive directors. I followed their footsteps.

What project are you most proud of and why?
I am proud of the portfolio of about 1,700 new and rehab affordable units I had a hand making happen.  They provide shelter, security, and community for over 3,500 people in a sustainable way.  I am also very proud of my former students who are making a real difference in quality of life and pushing for social justice in Los Angeles, California and the US.

If you could enact one policy change with the snap of your fingers what would it be?
Densify transit areas coupled with inclusionary housing and tenant protection.

What might people be surprised to know about you?
I worked as a laborer in Jones and Laughlin Steel in Pittsburgh.

If you didn’t live in Southern California where would you live?
I can’t think of anywhere else.

If you could steal credit for any great piece of art, song, film, book etc which one would you claim? And Why?
That changes over time.  Right now, I would want to take credit for any and all of Willie Nelson’s songs.

Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
 

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