Newhall Ranch will bring almost 22K units to LA — here’s why it still won’t fix the housing shortage

Emile Haddad, Rendering of Newhall Ranch townhouses (USC Lusk Center/Five Point Holdings)
Emile Haddad, Rendering of Newhall Ranch townhouses (USC Lusk Center/Five Point Holdings)

Los Angeles County’s housing crisis is so severe that a even a massive development the size of a small city will offer little relief, experts say.

Developer Five Point Holdings won key approvals last week for its Newhall Ranch project, which would bring 21,500 residential units to Los Angeles County over 15 to 20 years. But development would have to continue at the same pace —  and occur at a higher density — in order to have any real impact on the county’s housing shortage, said Stuart Gabriel, director of UCLA Ziman School for Real Estate.

“Newhall Ranch will certainly be helpful, but not curative in any sense,” he said to KPCC.

Ten percent of housing at the mega-development, which sits in Santa Clarita Valley, will be priced below-market for low income families, according to KPCC.

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The 12,000-acre project is expected to break ground next year, following a decades-long battle with environmental groups. 

Newhall Ranch will start out as two villages with 5,500 homes and 2.5 million square feet of commercial space between them.

Environmentalists have been concerned about the greenhouse gases the project could generate and its impact on local wildlife. An attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity said the group might appeal the county’s approval.

Five Point, headed by Emile Haddad, is working to reduce the project’s carbon footprint to zero, according to KPCC. It’s planning to use solar panels on every home and set up electric charging stations.

The developer is also planning off-site mitigation projects such as buying forest land in northern California and delivering clean-burning stoves to sub-Saharan Africa. [KPCC] — Subrina Hudson