SoCal leaders approve ambitious housing plan for future

Elected officials pass zoning measure allow for 1.3M new homes in next decade


To address the housing crisis in Southern California, more than 1.3 million homes need to be built in the next decade.

That’s according to municipal and county leaders who on Thursday approved an ambitious zoning plan that would allow for the surge in construction, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

The Southern California Association of Governments passed the measure in a 64-1 vote with one abstention. It certifies the body’s plan to meet housing goals set by the state, in line with its Regional Housing Needs Assessment. It will now go to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for approval.

SCAG is a federally-mandated planning organization composed of elected officials in Southern California’s 191 cities and six counties. It sets broad policy goals for the region; most of them are nonbinding for local jurisdictions.

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Some local officials have argued that state housing laws passed in recent years usurp local authority, according to the report. SCAG passed a resolution calling for more local control over planning as well as reforms to the state’s housing planning process.

The state requires that SCAG draw up plans to meet housing goals, which are updated every eight years. The latest assessment was released in 2019 and set that goal of 1.3 million new homes in the years ahead.

That amount was three times what SCAG had earlier proposed, reflecting how dire the housing shortage in Southern California has become.

Across the state, just 33 out of 539 cities and counties issued enough permits in 2019 to reach their housing goals for that year.

[LADN] — Dennis Lynch