66% of LA construction funded through low-income credits program is built in poor neighborhoods

This creates economic segregation

TRD LOS ANGELES /
Aug.August 30, 2017 02:00 PM
(credit: Getty Images)

Developers are using the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program in poor areas like South Los Angeles — but the lack of affordable housing built in pricier areas like Beverly Hills may be a root cause of the city’s economic segregation.

Nearly two-thirds of the development in Los Angeles that was funded using the credits over the past decade has gone to homes where the average income is less than $40,000 a year, KPCC reported.

The program is meant to encourage affordable housing throughout the L.A. County, but developers are building repeatedly in the same areas, such as the neighborhoods that surround Downtown L.A. on the 110 Freeway, and near MacArthur Park — pockets that are often poor, troubled and segregated.

The tax credit program serves as a way for the county to see where affordable housing is being built. With the City of Los Angeles planning to invest $1.2 billion in housing for the homeless in the next decade, the percentage heading to higher-income neighborhoods will have to increase soon to avoid clustering the homeless population into segregated neighborhoods.

Building homes for the homeless and low-income housing in higher income neighborhoods comes with many obstacles however, developers say. Reasons include higher construction and labor costs, strict parking requirements and often times, neighborhood backlash.

City Council member Mike Bonin said it helps to educate residents inpricier areas — like Marina del Rey, a district he represents — and show low-income development will not alter the character of their neighborhoods.

“How do you get folks to buy into the idea of homeless housing in their neighborhoods? It’s a really tough one because when folks hear it, they envision a shelter… with tents outside. And that’s not what we’re talking about,” he said at a Los Angeles Business Council summit last year. “So I’ve taken constituents on a bus tour of affordable and homeless housing on the Westside. When you drive by, you can’t tell which building is which.”

An analysis of state treasury records showed that 43 cities out of the county’s 88 never even touched the tax credits. This presents an issue for a county that has homeless residents in nearly every neighborhood.

Wealthier cities using the program — West Hollywood, Pasadena, Glendale and Santa Monica — have increased their low-income housing options, suggesting the program can in fact work when political will meets development desire. [KPCC] – Natalie Hoberman


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Welton Jordan of EAH Housing, and the block in South Park where the nonprofit development organization wants to build a 64-unit complex (Credit: Google Maps)

Two affordable housing projects will add 120 units to transformed South Park

14518-14526 Erwin Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Developer wants 71-unit complex to rise in Van Nuys Opportunity Zone

Tenancy in common arrangementsare growing in gentrifying Eastside neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Echo Park and Glassell Park (Credit: iStock)

LA landlords pitch controversial ownership arrangement as rent law kicks in

Monica Rodriguez orchestrated the nixing of a residential project set for the Verdugo Hills Golf Course (Credit: Google Maps, Wikipedia)

The threat of fire doomed this Tujunga resi project. Now the developer will sue

(Credit: Courtesy Santa Fe Art Colony Tenants Association via Los Angeles Magazine and iStock)

Developer sued by DTLA artist collective over rent-restricted building

Adam Shekhter and the 1415 5th Street project

WS Communities boosts affordable housing plans in Santa Monica

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Executive Director Michael Weinstein with a rendering of Crossroads of the World

Judge clears way for Harridge’s Crossroads megaproject

From left: Council President Herb Wesson, a rendering of District Square project, and developer Arman Gabay

City of LA nixes 600-unit Gabay resi project on appeal

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...