The housing shortage in Los Angeles – possibly the most severe since the end of World War II – is linked to a low minimum wage and a host of other economic issues in the city, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti. Garcetti, in a speech at the Mayoral Housing, Transportation & Jobs summit on Wednesday, unveiled plans to build 100,000 new housing units by 2021.
“But the fact remains that even with dramatic increases in market-rate and affordable housing, L.A. will continue to be an expensive city in which to live,” Garcetti said at the event, which was hosted by advocacy group Los Angeles Business Council at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Garcetti is proposing to raise the minimum wage in the city to $13.25 an hour by 2017 and then indexing future increases to inflation.
He noted that 567,000 Angelenos are considered minimum wage workers. Enough residents live under the federal poverty line to rival the population of one of the ten largest cities in the country, he said.
“We cannot afford the poverty rate we have in this town,” he said.
Garcetti, in a separate interview with The Times, said he has coordinated wage proposals with surrounding cities such as Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Long Beach and Pasadena.
But Los Angeles may be the first to succeed, Garcetti said.