Mayor Garcetti Announces Thousands Of Affordable Housing Units As Goal

Eric Garcetti.
Eric Garcetti.
Eric Garcetti.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said today he wants at least 15,000 affordable housing units to be preserved or built in Los Angeles by 2021, proposing that city officials look into a fee developers would pay to help fund programs to create lower-cost residences.

City officials earlier this year said the Los Angeles area is expected to lose more than 15,000 affordable units over the next five years due to the expiration of housing agreements that protect tenants’ living costs.

“Los Angeles is benefiting from record high levels of development, but it comes at a high cost as more and more residents feel squeezed by record low rates of affordability,” Garcetti said. “With state and federal funds declining and disappearing, and more residents falling into homelessness, the time for our city to lead on this issue is now. A home is a right, not a privilege.”

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Garcetti announced the affordable housing goal, which would count units that are preserved or built since 2013, during a summit hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council. To fund the units, he said the city should study a “linkage fee” that developers would pay to raise between $37 million to $112 million per year for affordable housing programs.

He also suggested the city set aside $10 million each year from its general funds for affordable housing.

Garcetti also signed an executive directive today instructing city building officials to expedite projects that include more than 20 percent affordable units.

At the same event last year, Garcetti set a target of getting 100,000 units built by 2021. This year, he said the city is ahead of schedule on that goal, with the 29,750 units issued building permits by the city.