The Los Angeles City Council has voted to approve an ordinance which allows for the legalization of previously unpermitted dwelling units, according to the office of 14th District Councilmember Jose Huizar.

The Unapproved Dwelling Unit Ordinance, which passed with a unanimous vote, will allow property owners to obtain approvals for their currently unpermitted apartments in exchange for placing an equal amount of affordable housing units on the market at the same location.

According to a press release, periodic City inspections of multi-family buildings result in the removal of up to 500 apartments from the market each year.   The ordinance hopes to alleviate this problem by establishing procedures that will allow for the legalization of such units, as well as mandating health and safety standards.

The ordinance does not apply to single-family residences, and is not intended to encourage future unpermitted construction.

Eligibility for this process is defined as follows:

To be an eligible project, the residential or mixed-use building with the unapproved dwelling unit, must be located in a multiple family zones (R2 or above). The owner must be able to demonstrate that the unit existed as of the December 10, 2015, deadline and be willing to provide at least one restricted affordable unit for up to 55 years. To be approved, the building must be free from other code violations and comply with a range of other performance standards. Legalization through this process cannot result in any increase in building height or expansion of the building’s footprint.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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