Given a historic shortage of affordable housing, the Board of Supervisors today instructed the LA County Department of Regional Planning to draft four ordinances to greatly increase local affordable housing.

Current assessments indicate that 17,000 additional housing units are needed for households earning less than 120% of Area Median Income over the next 5 years in LA County’s unincorporated areas, where 10% of the County population lives.

The four ordinances, taken together, represent a major new effort by the County to meet that need and increase the amount of affordable housing available to low-income families.

The efforts include:

  • An inclusionary zoning ordinance to require market-rate developers to include a small percentage of affordable homes in new developments;
  • An affordable housing preservation ordinance to help protect the existing supply of affordable housing;
  • An ordinance to streamline the entitlement process for permanent supportive housing including motel conversions; and
  • An ordinance to allow multifamily housing development in commercial zones.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion, said, “The County is making historic investments in addressing homelessness, but we face a daunting housing crisis fueled by unaffordably high rents that put many families just one personal crisis away from finding themselves on the street. These ordinances will strengthen our efforts to stem the homeless crisis as well as help keep people in their homes by expanding affordable housing.”

“The Board of Supervisors has already dedicated an unprecedented level of funding to facilitate the development of supportive housing, including $84 million this fall to build over 1,100 units,” said the motion’s coauthor, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “Still, in the face of a daunting homeless and housing crises, we must also take a hard look at our zoning code for ways to make it easier to not only preserve but also facilitate the efficient creation of many more units.”

Recent County efforts to expand affordable housing this fiscal year will include a total investment in affordable housing construction of more than $100 million comprised of $40 million from the County’s affordable housing trust fund, $10 million from Measure H funds, $50 million from California’s Mental Health Services Act, and additional funding carried over from last year.

In a related action, the Board approved $43.7 million in funding for nine buildings that will create nearly 500 new affordable apartments.