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The Real Deal Los Angeles

NIMBY ballot measure’s numbing effect

Looking at the impact the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative could have on Los Angeles’ affordable housing shortage
By Justin Sayles | January 26, 2017 08:30AM

The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative would temporarily halt many building projects in Los Angeles.

From the January issue: Bobby Turner, a native Angeleno, founded social impact investment firm Turner Impact Capital two years ago. His goal: to acquire $1 billion of workforce rental housing for residents earning no more than 80 percent of an area’s median income. So far, he’s backed projects in Miami and Dallas — but he has steered clear of investments in his hometown.

“If the community itself is not willing to eliminate political risk, why would I ever invest there?” Turner asked.

Building affordable housing in Los Angeles — a sprawling 503-square-mile metropolis of mostly suburban neighborhoods — has been difficult and expensive for decades. A complex web of archaic zoning, outmoded community plans and a spirited group of “not in my backyard” protesters has discouraged many developers, like Turner, from even trying.

And now, political risk is really rearing its scary head. Voters will go to the polls on March 7 to decide whether to temporarily halt most large development projects in L.A. Opponents of the measure say this is already having a chilling effect on the market. [More]