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Proposal Calls For 500K New LA Housing Units By 2029

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – In an effort to address a major housing shortage, a new proposal would see to the construction of 500,000 new housing units in the city of Los Angeles by 2029.

New Residential Properties Ahead Of Housing Starts Figures
Vehicles parked outside an apartment building under construction in South Los Angeles, California, U.S. on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. The U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release housing starts figures on April 16. Photographer: Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The L.A. City Housing and Community Investment Department and the L.A. City Planning Department Thursday released a plan to accommodate the production of nearly 500,000 housing units, with more than 200,000 units reserved for lower-income residents.

If adopted by the L.A. City Council, the Housing Element would guide L.A.'s housing policy from 2021 to 2029. The most recent Housing Element was adopted in 2013 and remains in effect through the end of the year.

According to the Department of City Planning, the next Housing Element needs to allow the city to increase its current level of housing production by a factor of five and add about 57,000 new units of housing each year for the next eight years in order to address the housing shortage.

The plan includes a rezoning program that would increase density in resource-rich neighborhoods that has been limited to single-family-only uses to create the capacity for 219,732 new housing units within three years of the plan being adopted.

The department will identify and recommend rezoning for a minimum of 97,851 moderate- and above-moderate-income units and a minimum of 121,1881 lower-income units by Oct. 30, 2024, according to the draft plan.

The plan will be sent to the City Planning Commission for final recommendations before being sent to city council for adoption in the fall. It aims to set strategies that will equitably distribute market-rate and affordable housing, provide access to housing for residents with disabilities, large families and older adults, according to city planning.

Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom reached a deal with legislative leaders to pay off overdue rent that accumulated during the coronavirus pandemic and extend the state's eviction moratorium through Sept. 30.

Under the deal, California will use $5.2 billion in federal money to pay off past-due rent for eligible Californians.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors also voted to extend the county's eviction moratorium through Sept. 30 as well.

Meanwhile, the L.A. City Council last week adopted an ordinance that would prevent landlords from harassing tenants by eliminating services, withholding repairs or refusing to accept rent payments.

California has some of the most expensive rents in the country and an affordable housing shortage. About 25% of California's renters pay at least half of their income on housing costs, a figure that includes rent and utilities, according to the California Department of Finance.

To read the full Housing Element plan, click here.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service and The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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