A home, a job, and an easy ride between the two. Los Angeles County has struggled to provide those essentials – with housing costs rising so high in the areas where jobs are located that many workers have no choice but to live far away and suffer a long commute.
The Los Angeles Business Council convened a summit at UCLA and released a comprehensive report on Friday with the aim of addressing those challenges. The report suggests that the expanding transit corridors in the county may offer the best hope to develop new housing for workers. It even creates a “Livable Community Opportunity Index” highlighting areas near transit stations with the best potential to develop housing that middle-income earners could afford.
The index classifies transit station areas as “hot, warm, or cool” markets for developing livable communities. The Pico station on the Metro Blue Line and the Long Beach Transit Mall top the index, but the report also points to the Van Nuys Orange Line Station and land near the Florence/La Brea station on the future Crenshaw Line as prime opportunities for development.
The utopian concept of “co-location” – placing jobs near housing – has been elusive in Los Angeles, says the study’s author, Dr. Paul Habibi, Professor of Real Estate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and Ziman Center for Real Estate. Land is so costly throughout LA, says Habibi, that he sees more hope in linking “housing centers” and “job centers” through mass transit, rather than trying to keep them close together.