Opinion

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If Homeownership is the American Dream, Why Do We Mostly Build Rental Apartments?

There are four main reasons, and unfortunately, they are not easy fixes.
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Homeownership has long been considered a part of the American dream, and the government has spent decades developing laws to promote and incentivize it as a practice. As so many Californians are housing insecure during our current affordability crisis, ownership is a way to create stable, predictable household housing costs at all income levels.

Homeownership provides the predictability of fixed housing costs. The most common form of a home mortgage, the 30-year fixed mortgage, is 360 monthly payments of the same amount.

L.A. is ready for micro-units

Micro-units are apartments as small as 140 square feet and as large as 350, and they take a variety of forms.
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In a county facing a shortage of a million housing units, how can we provide more affordable housing, be more welcoming to families, and boost transit ridership in our urban centers? For all three, the answer comes in a small package: micro-units.

Micro-units are apartments as small as 140 square feet and as large as 350, and they take a variety of forms. They can include shared-living arrangements or be entirely self-contained with bathrooms, full kitchens, and even in-unit washers and dryers. They can be amenity-rich or relatively barebones.

The City of Los Angeles Isn’t Creating As Much Housing As It Used To. Why?

"Starting two years ago, things started to change in the City. A series of policies were enacted that have made it much more difficult to create housing...."
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If every jurisdiction in California addressed housing the way the City of Los Angeles has over the past few decades, the state would have nothing close to the crisis we have today.

In Los Angeles, planning case timelines are some of the fastest in the state. Unlike other jurisdictions, the City has honored state laws that mandate cases that conform to zoning be approved. Historically, fees have been low. The processing of permits and inspections are better than any jurisdiction I have worked in during my career.

How Should the West Santa Ana Branch Approach DTLA?

New alignments are under consideration for the proposed light rail line between Artesia and Downtown.
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Los Angeles’ Measure M envisions a long list of public transportation improvements throughout the County.  Among them is the West Santa Ana Branch, a proposed light rail line which would run between Downtown Los Angeles and Artesia.

L.A. County Wants to Fix Housing. They Can. Here's How.

Four proposed ordinances are a nice first step, but more can be done.
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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors oversees land use policy for the approximately  1.1 million residents that live in the unincorporated parts of the County.  To put that number in perspective, if these unincorporated communities were a city, it would be the third largest in the state behind only Los Angeles and San Diego.

The County historically has an abysmal track record of producing housing.  Every jurisdiction in California is given a target number of housing units by the State that they are expected to produce to meet their needs.

Everyone Deserves the California Dream. It's Time We Build Enough Housing to Provide It.

"While California no longer has zoning laws that discriminate on a racial basis, we have zoning rules that discriminate on an economic basis."
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California in 1960 was a place on the move.  Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Sr. - who served the as the state’s governor from 1959-1966 - spearheaded three major initiatives aimed at providing a piece of the California dream for all residents of the state. In doing so, Governor Brown became the architect of modern California.  

First, the California State Water Project - created to make sure the entire state was “water secure” - has been called by historians the "most significant public water project in world history."  

Swings in Downtown Vacancy Rate Hold Lessons for the Entire Region

"...swings in the housing market may put some on edge — stirring up concerns ranging from gentrification to a cooling economy — but they can also be instructive."
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Last September, real estate company CoStar reported that the vacancy rate for rental housing in Downtown Los Angeles had hit 12.4%, its highest point in 17 years. Questions quickly arose about the future of housing development: Was Downtown overbuilt? Was demand leveling off? Were we building housing for the right people, at the right income levels? What did this mean for the rest of the city?

Just four months later, the vacancy rate has declined to 10.3%, even as hundreds more units opened in Downtown.

25 Solutions From A Builder’s Perspective To Fix The California Housing Crisis

It is more difficult today than it has ever been to bring new housing units to this state, but it shouldn't be.
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The California housing crisis is damaging our very existence. Homelessness is higher than any point during my lifetime. High housing costs are a drag on our local employers. Many working poor have a job, but live out of their vehicles. Many commute as many as four hours a day just to make a living. People are leaving our state to find the middle class American dream elsewhere. Most importantly, the outrageous cost of living may scare the young person that would move to California to create the next Disney, Bechtel, Google, Douglas Aircraft, or Intel from ever coming.

A Vermont Avenue Subway Should be A Priority For Metro

Since Vermont is the second busiest [bus] corridor, this by itself suggests that the MTA should seriously consider rail on Vermont, and not BRT.
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Thanks to Measure M and the Olympics, Los Angeles is rapidly building public transit projects, aiming to cast away its international reputation as a city where the only mode of travel is the car. These include extensions to the subway and light rail network as well as several bus rapid transit projects. But one omission is glaring: Vermont Avenue, south of Wilshire Boulevard.

Gentrification and the Arrival of Art Galleries in Boyle Heights: Is there a Correlation?

Art galleries have become a touchy subject as rents rise in the working class Eastside community.
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Art galleries are considered by many to be active agents that spur neighborhood change an