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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Garcetti’s pledge to build 100K housing units is ahead of schedule. But there’s a problem

Most of the new housing is priced at market-rate

(Photo illustration by Jhila Farzaneh for The Real Deal. Credit: Getty Images)

Upon assuming the role of mayor in 2013, Eric Garcetti made a pledge to build 100,000 new housing units over the course of eight years. Today, Garcetti claims the city is already two-thirds toward that goal.

There is one not insignificant problem, however. Most of the new housing that is being developed is being offered at market rate, and thus contributing to the ongoing scarcity of affordable housing in Southern California, SCPR reported.

At a housing summit organized by Los Angeles Business Council on Nov. 3, Garcetti reiterated one solution to combat this issue: so-called “granny flats.” The mayor, who’s been a longtime supporter of homeowners building secondary units in their backyard, said there could be an additional 50,000 more units if only 10 percent of homeowners would take on the challenge.

“It is a priority of my administration to make this easy, to find more neighborhoods that embrace this and to get those numbers into the tens of thousands in the coming years,” Garcetti said.

The relaxed city planning rules governing the construction of granny flats has already contributed to 2,000 applications this year, housing adviser Ben Winter said. That’s more than double of what the city received over the last decade.

Garcetti also introduced a new program that would provide $4 million in financing to developers who rehabilitate decaying buildings into affordable housing. This would essentially work to slow the rate at which old buildings are converted into expensive housing. He also asked the audience to throw their support behind the controversial linkage fee, slated for vote this year. [SCPR] – Natalie Hoberman