05 Nov Wesson To Restrict Development of City-Owned Land to 100 Percent Affordable Units
Wesson To Restrict Development of City-Owned Land to 100 Percent Affordable Units
LOS ANGELES – In a bold move to spur more affordable housing development across Los Angeles, City Council President Herb Wesson has introduced a motion to restrict the use of City-owned land identified for housing purposes to development of 100 percent affordable housing units. The proposal follows a series of affordable housing motions put forth by Wesson in recent months to stop displacement in working-class neighborhoods and stem the region’s housing and homelessness crisis.
“We are in the midst of a crisis, and need to pull out all the stops to develop more affordable housing across Los Angeles,” said Wesson. “There are thousands of underdeveloped city-owned lots, close to transit lines that are ideal for new affordable housing.”
The motion was seconded by Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Mike Bonin. It will now head to the Housing Committee, where it is expected to be heard in the coming weeks.
According to the motion, Los Angeles has the second least affordable housing market in the United States, only falling behind San Francisco. It is widely acknowledged that this is at least in part due to longtime underbuilding of affordable housing in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles County has a housing shortfall of nearly 520,000 homes affordable to the lowest income renters. There are significantly more households and individuals who qualify for affordable housing and are rent burdened than there are affordable properties, and a 2017 study found that just a five percent increase in median rent would push approximately 2,000 more Angelenos into homelessness.
The motion references the Fifth Revision of Los Angeles County’s Housing Element – one of seven required elements of the Los Angeles County General Plan – and the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) allocation of more than 82,000 homes to the City of Los Angeles, fifty-seven percent of which are to fall under the Very Low, Low, or Moderate Income level, and forty-three percent of which are to fall under the Above Moderate Income level. By the end of 2018, the City had met 210 percent of its allocation for Above Moderate Income level, but only 20 percent for Very Low and Low Income units.
“It’s not enough to just build more units – we have to build more affordable units,” said Wesson. “This motion will ensure that we are using these lots in the most productive way to get folks off the street and ease the rent burden for those on the brink of homelessness.”