With Legislation Stalled, How Can LA’s Housing Crisis Find A Solution?
The end of January brought yet another defeat for Senate Bill 50, which, according to the LA Times, would have brought with it a wave of new house building across LA and wider California. With the bill experiencing three defeats in three years, a state legislature-provided solution to LA’s housing crisis is looking unlikely. In such conditions, focus is instead turning to how Angelenos can make the most of current housing stock, and how best to develop new builds within existing rules.
The ongoing struggle over how to tackle the housing crisis, whether it be rent controls, new building, or expansion of current developments, has created a dearth in efforts concerning existing stock. As a result, Architect Magazine note that much of the high-density residential stock in Los Angeles is in a state of disrepair. It is imperative that housing authorities and homeowners look to undertake maintenance. This includes outer repair work, electrical and damp maintenance, and all essential plumbing work. The need to maintain the city’s plumbing works is perhaps the most essential issue. Ensuring that current stock has effective plumbing systems to promote a safe and happy home is a key challenge in the context of LA’s expanding water crises.
Saving space and emissions
Renovation is the next tool at the disposal of residential planners. Converting existing property is an easier task than accounting for brand new development, and a powerful way of creating new housing. In already cramped properties, the new green revolution is helping to free up space. The New York Times outline how councils across California have enacted statutes that encourage the use of electrical-only development, removing the need for bulky gas-providing equipment, and ultimately making renovations that free up more space for tenants.
The defeat of Bill 50 means that state ordnance will make it difficult to effectively develop existing properties. What changes can be made, however, can be done in a way that is conducive to resolving the housing crisis. One way this is being achieved is through thoughtful use of the current development rules. According to Daily News, one city councilman has been involved with using limited numbers of lots in a new commercial and office development and re-designating them for the use of low and medium income tenants.
Los Angeles is in the midst of a housing crisis, and addressing it has not proved simple. Creativity in existing processes may be the easiest way to make the difference. Making it a matter of business-as-usual is the next step up.