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Los Angeles Housing Ordinance Creating New Pathways for Affordable Housing

By: Mikayla Schwartz

A housing ordinance signed by Mayor Bass (December 2022) has streamlined new affordable housing by private developers without city subsidies.

Many private developers are attracted to building affordable housing for a variety of reasons, including a 60-day approval process for submitted projects and no city council hearings or environmental impact studies necessary.

Developers can even acquire a density bonus that allows them to build more units than traditional zoning laws allow, which increases profitability.  

“When it comes to 100% privately invested projects…I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything close to the magnitude that that has been unleashed,”  said Scott Epstein, Policy Director at Abundant Housing L.A. (LAIST Housing No Public Cost)

Many Angelenos are concerned that they will not be able to afford these new units geared toward middle to lower-income residents. However, developers are required to provide relocation costs and the opportunity to return after new construction is completed.

 To establish a better legal basis, the City of Los Angeles is discussing the possibility of making the Mayor Bass ordinance permanent. 

Even though these new units are considered affordable, a studio apartment can cost around $1,800 per month.

Recently, rents have increased between 4-6% as of February 1st for the city of Los Angeles. This increase applies to rent controlled homes built before October 1978. (LAIST Rent Hikes)

According to the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Institute, half of L.A. county renters are considered rent burden by spending over 30% of their income on housing. (LAIST Rent Hikes)

Affordable housing through developers is a step in the right direction. However, the majority of Angelenos may still not be able to afford these new developments.

Sources:

https://laist.com/news/housing-homelessness/affordable-housing-los-angeles-unsubsidized 
https://laist.com/news/housing-homelessness/la-rent-increases-covid-19-freeze-expire

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