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Los Angeles is one of the most expensive cities to live in North America and is currently facing the most severe housing crisis in the city’s history. Why? Because of three simple reasons …

Lack of land, high building costs, and community resistance has skyrocketed housing prices in Los Angeles, and caused an official housing crisis. Currently, the average cost of an LA home is $540,000; three times the country’s average. And the consequences are endless, including an unofficial poverty rate of 23.4%, and crazy traffic conditions due to Angelenos being forced to live in the outlying suburbs and drive into the city every day for work. But it doesn’t end there. Housing will improve the livability of the city, and therefore the wellbeing of its inhabitants.

The Southern California Association of Government’s (SCAG) 2014-2021 Regional Housing Need Allocation Plan (RHNA) determines a need for 412,716 additional housing units in the 6-country region, with 82,002 of these units allocated to the City of LA. This need is divided among various income groups, including 20,427 for very-low income households, 12,435 for low-income households, and 13,728 for moderate-income households. This means a production rate of approximately 10,250 units/year (5,823 affordable/year).

Yesterday, the PFH team were honored to be invited to attend a conference at the Autry National Center, hosted by the Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIA), to explore how LA can increase housing production and reduce the cost to provide new homes. Los Angeles City Councilmember Gil Cedillo and Mayor, Eric Garcetti were special guest speakers and spoke of their most recent initiative that will confront this crisis, House LA. The initiative includes:

  • Site plan review modifications with the aim of increasing the current threshold of 50 residential units.
  • Permitting micro unit housing.
  • Deferring building fees until the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for a residential development.
  • Expanding the use of shared vehicles.
  • Facilitating accessory dwelling units.
  • Using city owned land as potential sites for the development of affordable housing.

Various experts spoke over the course of the morning yesterday, and most concluded that this crisis will be solved by an increase in affordable housing production and an increase in preservation of existing buildings, as well as ensuring the new homes that we build are sustainable.

Prime Five Homes is excited about the concept of building homes for those who need it most, and shows its full support for House LA, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, and Mayor Garcetti. We are looking forward to working on this issue together with the BIA, Councilmember, and the Mayor to achieve a better version of LA.

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