The Los Angeles City Council has voted to adopt two ordinances aimed at combatting the regional homelessness crisis: the Interim Motel Conversion Ordinance and the Permanent Supportive Housing Ordinance.
The first legislative action strips away regulatory barriers that previously prevented dilapidated hotels and motels from being repurposed as transitional and supportive housing facilities. The Los Angeles County Assessor's office reported in 2016 that the City currently has 382 motels - totaling more than 10,000 rooms - which could be eligible for conversion to transitional housing. Such accommodations typically provide shelter to homeless individuals for a period of 6 to 24 months, with the aim of placement in permanent supportive housing.
The second ordinance streamlines the production of that permanent supportive housing (PSH) by relaxing zoning regulations such as minimum lot area per dwelling unit. The ordinance also allows for by-right construction of multifamily developments on land currently zoned for public facilities - assuming nearby properties are zoned for that use - and exempts PSH developments from mandatory parking minimums.
According to information released by the Office of 14th District Councilmember Jose Huizar, the two ordinances will reduce construction timelines for supportive housing, and allow for better returns of the $1.2 billion in Measure HHH funds that the City will collect in the next decade. A 60-unit building could save nearly $1 million thanks to the expedited processing created through the ordinances.
Measure HHH, which was approved by Los Angeles voters in 2016, is expected to generate a total of 10,000 units of affordable housing during its lifetime.