LA aims to buy 10K affordable units by 2030

City Council extends program to acquire buildings offering below-market rents, as housing crisis worsens

Los Angeles /
Feb.February 17, 2021 10:15 AM
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez (Getty, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez (Getty, iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)

The Los Angeles City Council has set a goal of acquiring 10,000 affordable housing units by 2030.

The Council approved a measure — 14-0 with one abstention — to continue its program to buy apartment buildings that offer below-market rate rents, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

The city purchased around 1,000 units last year at an average cost of $231,000 per unit. Building new units of affordable and supportive housing can cost twice that much in some cases. Officials estimated in 2019 that units partially funded with Proposition HHH bonds cost around $550,000 per unit.

The city Housing Authority and the Housing and Community Investment Department run the program. Purchases target what is sometimes referred to as “naturally occurring affordable housing,” meaning unsubsidized units with reasonably inexpensive rents.

The Council’s vote ordered the two agencies to create a strategy that would expand the buying program over the next decade, adding up to 10,000 units by 2030. The vote also ordered those agencies to put together a strategy to find investment partners.

Last week, the Council voted to explore options to buy the Hillside Villa apartments in Chinatown. Local Councilman Gil Cedillo has long pushed for the city to buy the property, citing efforts by the landlord, Thomas Botz, to sharply raise rents.

Botz has said he won’t sell and Cedillo previously suggested the city force a sale through eminent domain. [LADN] — Dennis Lynch 


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