LA wants to rezone Skid Row to allow 100K units of new housing

Skid Row will look drastically different if the plan is approved

The Skid Row City Limits mural
The Skid Row City Limits mural

A city plan to rezone Skid Row could transform the impoverished neighborhood, allowing for the construction of 100,000 new housing units over the next few decades.

Unveiled Tuesday, the draft plan would likely reach the Los Angeles City Council next year following further review year, according to the Los Angeles Times. If passed, the plan would address the city’s yawning housing crunch with new development, but also open the floodgates to market-rate construction. That would likely bring a wave of criticism.

Community advocates and those who speak for the substantial number of homeless that populate Skid Row say the plan would lead to the displacement of thousands of people.

Today, much of the residential construction plans in Skid Row are being proposed by developers who focus on affordable housing. The Coalition for Responsible Community Development last month filed plans for a 95-unit project in the neighborhood. And the Weingart Center has been working on a 298-unit project in the area for over a year.

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As currently devised, the rezoning plan targets industrial and commercial areas of the 50-block-wide neighborhood and the adjacent Arts District and Fashion District. Those would be zoned residential, allowing for 100,000 new units of housing to be built by 2040.

The plan includes protections for the central core of Skid Row, where most of its 4,000 homeless residents live. Units only affordable to people making less than $58,000 would be allowed there.

But there would be no income restrictions in other parts of the neighborhood, like the edges of Skid Row bordering the Arts District, Fashion District, and Little Tokyo, the Times reported. [LAT]Dennis Lynch