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Cost of building affordable may drop in Los Angeles


Construction of zone-compliant housing

One of the most pressing and significant issues that Los Angeles residents face is the cost and availability of affordable housing. Mayor Karen Bass has been on the money regarding both affordable housing and the homelessness crisis. She addressed the issue in May at the Mayoral Housing Summit Addressing Development Reform held at UCLA, where discussions combating poverty took place.

Bass issued an executive directive recently following approval of a city council motion to decrease the cost of building zone-compliant housing by the City Council’s Planning Land Use and Management Committee and Housing and Homelessness Committee in mid-June. This motion was a team effort, created and introduced by Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavky, Council President Paul Krekorian, Councilmember Nithya Raman, and Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.

Bass said, “I want to commend the City Council for taking another important step to codify Executive Directive 1, which has already helped accelerate and lower the cost of affordable housing in Los Angeles. When we lock arms and work towards shared goals, City Hall can urgently confront homelessness.”

The approved motion was signed on December 16 of last year and has since largely assisted the number of affordable housing and temporary housing projects and units in the development pipeline.

The accomplishments that have been made include 48 affordable housing projects that have been filled with the Department of City Planning, 20 project cases that have been completed, and 28 cases under review. Additionally, 4,232 affordable housing units were proposed, 1,496 units of affordable housing have been approved, while 2,736 are under review. 37 days is now the average processing time for projects with complete paperwork.

“I am extremely heartened by what we’ve seen come out of ED1 in just the last six months,” said Councilmember Nithya Raman. “In my own district, projects that could have been market rate became 100% affordable– all because of a change in city policy. Our affordable housing crisis can feel overwhelming but what ED1 shows is that we have real power to make change and we must use it.”

With Executive Directive 1 codified, the hope is to see individuals suffering from homelessness and situations of financial hardship, mental illness, drug addictions, and difficulty surrounding their housing situations to be safely housed.