Investing in housing is critical to California’s long-term quality of life and economic competitiveness. That’s why the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce strongly supports the proposal Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled last month to streamline affordable housing and help ease the housing crunch that is devastating the state.
L.A. County needs 500,000 affordable homes and the State of California needs 1,500,000. L.A.’s vacancy rate is the lowest in the nation and 45,000 County residents experience homelessness nightly. The Governor’s plan would allow housing units that match a community’s zoning to be built if they include a certain percentage of affordable housing and ask for no changes that a city department would otherwise need to approve. This proposal mirrors standard land use and development procedure in most cities and states in America. From New York City to urban areas throughout the nation, the Governor’s proposal is the norm. We are an outlier and the Governor’s proposal would fix that.
The Chamber supports the comprehensive plan for affordable housing in the 2016-17 budget, contingent upon the Legislature’s approval of the Gov. Brown’s development reform proposal. We know that our housing crisis cannot be fixed by state and local funding alone. As the State Legislative Analyst’s Office recently noted, we have a supply and demand imbalance that can only be addressed by increasing supply. That’s why this proposal is garnering support up and down the State, including Mayor Eric Garcetti and L.A. City Council Housing Chair Gil Cedillo.
The Chamber has been a champion for a high quality of life and economic prosperity in L.A. since 1888. We believe in the American dream of affordable housing for all income levels. We applaud Governor Brown’s leadership in building more homes for Californians by easing development roadblocks.