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Los Angeles to get new 250,000 affordable Housing apartments amid serious housing needs

Los Angeles to get new 250,000 affordable Housing apartments amid serious housing needs

Los Angeles, CA: As the city grapples with a significant housing crisis, the Los Angeles City Planning Department has unveiled new draft rules to regulate more than 25,000 new homes. Los Angeles may be famous for its spacious mansions and easygoing vibe, but it actually has more people per square foot than any other American city, including New York and San Francisco.

The department’s plan to implement inclusionary zoning, which requires that at least 20% of units be affordable to earners of the area median income, is expected to drastically shorten overall development times. This is in response to the fact that housing approvals take longer than construction.

Many developers abandon projects that become stuck in the approvals process because, according to the California Environmental Quality Act, almost anyone can challenge the review of environmental impact reports practically forever. Delays in project completion lead to even higher costs paid in interest, which is one of the biggest expenses for developers.

Note that these loans are usually used to secure the land and pay for development. As a result, lowering approval times might drastically cut down on building times, which in turn would lower home costs.

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“It appears that they are attempting to grant ministerial (non-discretionary) approvals for an excessive amount of housing,” remarked Shane Phillips, a housing specialist who oversaw the UCLA Lewis Center homes Initiative on X (previously Twitter).

Buildings older than fifteen years will also be eligible for the city’s adaptive reuse program, which has already produced 12,000 homes in downtown Los Angeles alone. The program was previously limited to structures constructed before 1974.

Because “an inclusionary affordability requirement would render most adaptive reuse conversions to residential uses economically infeasible,” the city decided against implementing inclusionary zoning requirements un its adaptive reuse program. Additionally, with a zoning administrator’s permission and a conditional use permit, the city’s adaptive reuse program permits conditional conversions for structures that are at least five years old.

Given the region’s 20% office vacancy rate, commercial property owners and people seeking additional living space may benefit from the conversion of empty commercial space. Los Angeles is home to 4.5 billion square feet of commercial property, with offices making up 16% of the majority of commercial real estate.

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This suggests that there is about 144 million square feet of empty office space right now. There is enough room for 180,000 additional dwellings in those vacant offices if they were converted to the typical 800 square foot Los Angeles apartment.

There would be enough space for 18,000 additional houses if only 10% of vacant office buildings were turned into dwellings. However, many office premises are not suitable for conversion because of plumbing and access requirements.

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