LA council considers motion to streamline affordable housing construction

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Neon Tommy, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

California Construction News staff writer

Los Angeles City Council is considering a motion to streamline construction of affordable housing on public land.

The goal of the motion is to cut red tape on construction, which is “often subject to additional bureaucratic steps and lengthy permitting times.

“This motion puts us on a track to make that vision a reality by cutting some of the red tape that has led us into this crisis of housing affordability,” said Councilman Hugo Soto-Martínez. “Yesterday, we introduced a motion . . . to finally change that.

Currently, public land has special public facilities zones.

“This classification holds back desperately needed housing production by adding expensive and time consuming hurdles,” Soto-Martinez said. “It’s a useless, arbitrary, and antiquated process. “If we’re going to combat the housing crisis, we must build affordable housing on underutilized public lots that the city already owns.

“This motion puts us on track to make that vision a reality.”

Council also unanimously approved Mayor Karen Bass’ proposed funding plan to use Measure ULA dollars to fund tenant protection programs including rental assistance and new construction of more affordable housing today.

The plan includes $56.9 million for multifamily affordable housing development to increase affordable housing units in the city with an initiative called “Accelerator Plus.” The program will fund “shovel-ready” affordable housing projects that are ready to quickly start or complete construction with an additional loan of no more than $12 million to close a financing gap.

“In order to successfully confront this homelessness crisis, we have to ensure that we are doing all we can to prevent Angelenos from falling into homelessness in the first place,” Bass said. “Now, we must turn to ensuring that these resources reach those who need them most.”

The city’s housing department will launch a short-term emergency assistance program to prevent as many potential evictions as possible in mid-September.

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