The Real Deal Los Angeles

LA County landlords convert affordable units to market rate at 5 per week: report

Over last two decades, the county has lost more than 5K affordable units
February 20, 2019 10:00AM

California Housing Partnership Southern California Director Paul Beesemyer and the William Mead Houses, a public housing project near DTLA

Los Angeles County, like much of California, is in an affordable housing crisis with not enough new units coming online to meet demand. A new report highlights that fact, showing that landlords in the county have converted more than 5,250 affordable rental units over to market rate since 1997.

That means more than a third of all affordable units statewide have been converted over to market rate, according to the study from the California Housing Partnership, first reported by Curbed. The total breaks down to an average of five rental units per week moving to market rate over the course of 22 years.

California Housing Partnership, a San Francisco-based nonprofit said another 12,100 units in L.A. County are “at risk” of moving to market rate. It advised that state and local action was “urgently needed” given California’s is short 1.5 million units for affordable to low-income residents.

Just two months into his term, Gov. Gavin Newsom has set lofty goals to address the affordable housing crisis. He wants to launch a “Marshall Plan” for affordable housing to build 500,000 units per year, which will require significant upzoning statewide.

Part of his plan is to withhold state funding from cities that fail to meet state-administered affordable housing goals. He’s also asked Silicon Valley tech companies to lend developers $500 million to boost affordable housing construction.

In many cases, affordable units are lost because landlords decide not to renew contracts with government entities that subsidize rents to keep them affordable. As part of its report, the California Housing Partnership said local governments work with landlords to keep units affordable.

Local governments in L.A., including the county and the City of Glendale have taken up new rent control measures to keep rents low.

Los Angeles has also pushed more affordable development with its Transit Oriented Communities program. [Curbed]Dennis Lynch