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Changing Economic Factors Impact Residential Permitting Approved In Los Angeles

In The Midst of Affordable Housing Crisis, Number of Permits Approved Drops

By Dolores Quintana

It is generally agreed that Los Angeles is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. However, the numbers that have come from a recent report from Hilgard Analytics show that permits for new structures have dropped significantly in the current year as reported by Urbanize Los Angeles. It seems that, according to Hilgard’s report, soaring interest rates, labor disputes, and a job market that has chilled. Hilgard makes the analysis based on the statistics released by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety.

By the numbers, 11,437 residential units have been approved citywide from January to September. According to the author of the report’s calculations, Shoshana Baum of Hilgard Analytics, the number of permits has fallen 5.3%  in 2023. For this year’s numbers to be equal to those of 2022, there would have to be 4,184 total units approved by December 31.

Council District 5 has seen the most severe drop in the number of permits granted this year. The city counts the Bel Air, Beverly Crest, Greater Wilshire, Mid-City West, Palms, Pico, South Robertson, and Westwood neighborhoods as part of Council District 5 and has Councilmember Katy Yaroslavky as its leader. The City Council has approved 425 residential units in Council District 5 which is 59.5% less than in 2022 from the same time period. It is 628 units less than were approved in 2022, so 880 more units would need to be approved by the end of the year to equal 2022’s total.

Council District 11 contains the Venice, Mar Vista, Westchester, Playa del Rey, Brentwood, Del Rey, Playa Vista, Ladera, Sawtelle, and the Pacific Palisades neighborhoods and has Councilmember Traci Park as its leader. This district has the second-largest drop of permits approved this year. There were only 229 permits granted in Council District 11 this year which means that the district has had a 64.2% drop in permits granted or 410 units in 2023. CD11 would need to get 621 units approved before the end of the current quarter. 

Council District 10, which covers Koreatown, Mid-City, Palms, West Adams, West Pico, and South Robertson neighborhoods has had an increase of 25.8% or 351 units approved in 2023 over 2022. Councilmember Heather Hutt was appointed to her position to replace Mark Ridley-Thomas and approved by the City Council to serve in the position until 2024.

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