By Rachel Dovey.
The Los Angeles City Council has shown only lukewarm support for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s proposed “linkage fees,” which would be funded by developers and earmarked for low-income housing. But even as the policy has stalled on a citywide level (it was finally green-lit by a key committee in August), a coalition of advocates has been steadily working on other ways to create developer incentives and get more affordable homes built in South Central L.A.
The group, United Neighbors in Defense Against Displacement (UNIDAD), has been rallying around the neighborhoods’ community plan, which is essentially a smaller version of a city general plan. It provides guidelines for what can and can’t be built, and, in the case of South Central L.A., hadn’t been updated in 17 years — until this month, when City Council unanimously approved a new plan with many of UNIDAD’s suggestions baked in, according to KPCC.
The People’s Plan — i.e., UNIDAD’s initial proposal to the city — recommends that the city direct new growth toward transit corridors, and marry “upzoning” with on-site affordable housing requirements, since allowing an increase in residential density creates value for the developer, and is thus a kind of incentive. It also recommends additional incentives for 100 percent affordable developments, and suggests that the city establish inclusionary requirements on for-sale housing developments and condominium conversions.
KPCC reports that the city adopted about 80 percent of the group’s recommendations. One thing it left on the cutting-room floor: caps on how many apartments could be either converted into condominiums or demolished each year.