LOS ANGELES (August 2, 2023) — The Los Angeles Business Council is proud to stand today with more than a dozen organizations from throughout the region who believe the time has come for Los Angeles to address its overly complex bureaucratic process for approving housing projects if we are ever to solve our housing and homelessness crisis.
Our coalition includes the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH), West Angeles Community Development Corporation, Abundant Housing LA, the American Institute of Architects, The Livable Communities Initiative, Move LA, the Valley Economic Alliance, David Nahai Companies, the Santa Monica Community Corporation, the Central City Association, the Southwest Mountain States Carpenters, and the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce.
Together, we testified today before the L.A. City Council’s Homelessness and Housing Committee about the barriers to housing production identified in a recent independent study undertaken by the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate and commissioned by the LABC Institute. The coalition encouraged lawmakers to follow its roadmap and translate its findings into tangible action to create a more affordable and inclusive Los Angeles.
Data from the LABC-commissioned study was pivotal in the City’s decision last month to waive site plan review for affordable housing projects.
At the hearing, our coalition endorsed a series of policy reforms identified in the report, including codifying Mayor Bass’s Executive Directive 1 to permanently exempt 100% affordable housing proposals from the city’s lengthy discretionary review process. The City Council approved a motion to codify key provisions of the directive in June; however, we strongly urge the Committee to see the policy expanded to include mixed-income projects in addition to 100% affordable projects.
We also urged the Committee to consider other critical development reforms, including updating the Site Plan Review ordinance to raise the threshold for all projects from 50 units to 200 units; expanding and making permanent the Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) program, which encourages the development of affordable housing within a half mile of major transit stops and is set to expire in 2026; and pursuing reforms at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to expedite power installation for multifamily housing developments.
We look forward to continuing to work with the City Council and providing real data on L.A.’s housing production challenges to drive meaningful policy changes that will create a more affordable and inclusive Los Angeles, where housing is accessible to all residents.