LA could soon require affordable units in all resi projects

Officials will consider a policy mandating that every new multifamily development include a portion for low-income households

Aug.August 01, 2019 02:00 PM
Councilman Gil Cedillo and LA City Hall
Councilman Gil Cedillo and LA City Hall

As the years-long affordability crisis advances, Los Angeles officials are considering a policy that would require affordable housing components in every new multifamily project.

City Council will consider recommendations next week for “inclusionary zoning” requirements to establish “a fair share distribution of affordable housing” in all community plans, Curbed reported. It would help officials target the areas that have fallen short on affordable housing.

Councilman Gil Cedillo, who represents areas like Westlake, MacArthur Park, Pico Union and Chinatown, initiated the request and said, “Certain parts of the city should not be responsible for meeting the entire city’s affordable housing goals.”

California Housing Partnership estimated this year that the county needs about 517,000 more homes for very low- and extremely low-income levels to meet current demand. The city has fallen short on affordable housing construction, as just about 10 percent of the units permitted since 2014 have been designated as such.

These policies could give new bonuses to builders, but they happen to be the biggest opponents. Developers argue such requirements will drive costs up enough to dissuade them from building. Last year, development firm Jade Enterprises said an inclusionary mandate in Central City West would make its 369-unit project “completely unviable.”

Hundreds of cities and neighborhoods have adopted inclusionary zoning policies before. From 1991 to 2009, Westlake established an inclusionary zoning in its community plan, which required all multifamily developers to make 15 percent of its units affordable. It was also recently reinstated in a draft plan. [Curbed]Gregory Cornfield

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