California Construction News staff writer
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass recently signed an executive order to lower the cost and remove roadblocks to building affordable housing in the city.
“This is a dramatic reduction in red tape and acceleration of the construction timeline that will move people inside faster and save precious dollars that can be invested in more housing and more solutions for L.A.’s homelessness crisis,” Bass said. “By declaring a state of emergency; by activating the emergency operations center; and by signing this executive directive today, we are breaking away from its traditional approach that is focused on process and replacing it with a new approach focused on solutions, results and speed.
“This is a sea change, and that is what we need to bring a new direction to Los Angeles.”
Bass signed the directive on the active construction site of Lorena Plaza in Boyle Heights, which took 14 years of navigating regulatory and legal hurdles to break ground. Under this directive, at least 31 pending 100% affordable housing projects will be immediately expedited.
The executive directive lifts regulations that slow or prevent the construction of permanent and temporary housing. The city must now complete the approval process for all affordable housing projects within 60 days. The, when construction begins, permits and certificates of occupancies must be completed in just five days. For temporary housing, the city will have no more than two days to finish the paperwork.
“That is the urgency we need at city hall and that is what we are delivering,” the mayor said. “How on Earth can we expect to house 40,000 people if we continue business as usual?”
As her first official action as the city’s new mayor, Bass declared a state of emergency on homelessness.
“The people of our city have demanded that we urgently and immediately take every possible action to bring unhoused Angelenos indoors, and this declaration will enable us to move faster and unlock every tool possible,” she said in a statement after the directive was approved by city council. “I look forward to continuing to lock arms with the City Council to advance a unified, citywide approach to our homelessness crisis. Together – we are moving Los Angeles in a new direction.”
The entire directive is available here.