Los Angeles

New Affordable Housing Units Proposed

Los Angeles Councilman Gil Cedillo today proposed a series of ideas intended to boost the amount of affordable housing in Los Angeles, including allowing micro-apartments.

Cedillo introduced six motions aimed at quickening the pace at which affordable housing is built, pointed to a recent study that found the city needs 82,000 new units, which includes 57 percent that need to be affordable to people who are very-low and low-income.

This means that 10,250 units need to be built per year, with about half affordable, Cedillo said.

However, city agencies in recent history have only been able to finance 1,200 affordable housing units annually during peak years, and are expected to only be able to finance about 500 units a year in the next five years, he said.

The six motions were introduced ahead of Thursday's Housing LA conference organized by the Building Industry Association of Southern California that includes panels on tackling the city's "housing crisis," and features Cedillo and Mayor Eric Garcetti as speakers.

In one motion, Cedillo is calling for a program that allows "micro-units" -- about 300 square feet to 500 square feet in size -- to be build in some parts of the city. Such units have a lower cost and could potentially be better for the environment, Cedillo's motion said.

Another Cedillo motion calls for the city to look into preserving unapproved second units on single-family homes, also known as accessory dwelling units, and to research programs adopted in cities like Seattle, Portland, Oregon, Denver and Santa Cruz.

A third motion proposes to reducing the number of parking spaces developers are required to build if their projects is near public transit, suggesting that four parking spots be replaced with one shared parking space.

Cedillo also wants to identify city properties that can be used for building affordable housing, defer the payment of building fees and take steps to speed up the project approval process.

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