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The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA asks developers for help in devising
cost-effective affordable housing

The city will set asid $120M for a pilot program to build 1K units
January 30, 2019 09:00AM

A rendering of an under-construction FlyawayHomes prefab project in South LA and LA City Hall (Credit: Wikipedia)

The city’s latest plan to house the homeless: ask developers for their ideas.

The Los Angeles City Council set aside $120 million from a bond measure for a program to explore cost-effective ways to create 1,000 affordable housing units.

The program allows the mayor to seek proposals from developers, according to the Los Angeles Times. That could include pre-fabricated housing, rehabbing single room occupancy housing or granny flats. The developments will also need to have space for a service provider for residents.

The funding comes from the $1.2 billion raised in bonds via Measure HHH, a ballot measure approved in 2016 to address L.A.’s mounting homeless crisis. It allowed the city to issue those bonds to fund housing and supportive services for people experiencing homelessness. The bonds were funded by a property tax increase.

The pilot program would also explore efficient ways to finance projects. So far, developers have had trouble securing financing through Measure HHH, because it requires a mountain of paperwork and approvals. That has contributed to high development costs. HHH projects cost around $550,000 per unit, significantly higher than the $400,000 per unit it costs for similar housing prior to HHH, according to the Times.

The program is for permanent, not temporary housing. The developments need to demonstrate long-term financial and physical durability, the city has said.

The city could release a request for proposal for the pilot program by March. [LAT]Dennis Lynch