Citing a growing consensus that bureaucratic red tape is hampering housing production statewide, a City Councilmember is looking to ease the approval process for new affordable units in Los Angeles.
In a motion introduced earlier this week, 9th District Councilmember Curren Price calls for Los Angeles to follow the lead of the City of Sacramento, which recently adopted an ordinance that eliminates certain development impact fees for new affordable housing developments.
"The City of Los Angeles should explore all possible avenues for reducing the timeline, process, and costs related to the construction of new affordable housing," reads Price's motion. "The reductions should remain in place until a permanent solution can be found, or until the City determines that reduced revenues are detrimentally impacting the ability to fund necessary infrastructure."
The City of Sacramento estimated that production of 100 units annually nets between $900,000 and $1.3 million in impact fees. In Los Angeles, such fees are calculated with when a developer seeks building permits, with surcharges going toward public art and schools, amongst other needs.
Price's motion directs various city departments to convene a working group for the purpose of evaluating housing development fee assessments, and the feasibility of reducing those for affordable projects to or near zero. Additionally, the working group is instructed to report back on opportunities for streamlining the approval process for new housing projects, as well as the feasibility of creating a program to expedite affordable housing projects.
The motion has been referred to the City Council's Housing Committee for consideration.
The City of Los Angeles has already taken similar measures to expedite the production of permanent supportive housing projects, though the signature legislation from that effort is currently subject to a legal challenge.
In a separate motion referred to the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, Price has called for the Housing and Community Investment Department to issue a report on the feasibility of providing additional subsidies to Measure HHH-funded affordable and permanent supportive housing projects in designated "Opportunity Areas," as determined by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. Price notes that to date, "there have been no supplemental allocations for High and Highest Resources Areas."
The motion cites the City of Los Angeles Assessment of Fair Housing Plan 2018-2023, which notes that the high placement of homeless persons in South Los Angeles and the Eastside perpetuates existing segregation patterns by race and income.