Los Angeles Needs Affordable Housing

Now that nobody's buying new housing, attention turns to affordable homes

It's difficult to talk about affordable housing in Los Angeles without ... laughing.

Seriously. Living in the single worst real-estate market in the country makes it hard not to do a bit of knee slapping when a coalition of business groups releases an affordable-housing plan like the one released Thursday.

Not that there's any reason to doubt the sincerity of the effort, or the viability of the suggestions. It's just that … suddenly there's so much concern. You just didn't hear much news like this back when the housing market was going gangbusters and most evictions were suffered by non-homeowners.

Back when scant media attention was being paid to the fact that Los Angeles homes were the least affordable in the state, few business or political leaders were sounding the alarm. How many headlines did we read about how a household income of $128,000 was necessary just to qualify for a 30-year-mortgage on a median-priced home?

Wait. Did we have 30-year-mortgages back then?

But, to be fair, those were the good times, when developers were selling homes before they could build them. And, with all that going on, who could have seen this coming?

Nowadays times are so tough even Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa breaks away from his work leading the world to break ground on the construction of a new Lowe's, as he did Thursday in Pacoima.

As for that affordable housing plan, Carol Schatz, president of the Central City Association, was quoted in Thursday's Daily News saying "the lack of available, affordable housing in Los Angeles is at a crisis and getting worse."

Councilwoman Jan Perry -- a member of the city's Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee -- said she'll take the recommendations under advisement. "Housing and affordable housing continue to be a major need in our city," she said. "We need more housing."

Yep. They're on it.

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