California Funds Housing Near Freeways Despite Air Pollution

A Los Angeles development for homeless vets could be great news for a city in desperate need of housing, but some worry that the apartments put vets in harm’s way.
December 27, 2017, 12pm PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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The Sun Valley Senior Veterans Apartments is a low-cost housing development in the works in LA a city desperate for housing, unfortunately those apartments are a mere 200 feet from the 5, a fact that has serious health implications. "State officials have for years warned against building homes within 500 feet of freeways, where people suffer higher rates of asthma, heart disease, cancer and other health problems linked to car and truck pollution," Tony Barboza and David Zahniser report for the Los Angeles Times. Despite these concerns the state of California will subsidize the development with money from the state's Cap and Trade fund.

Some worry that the fund is putting the city's most vulnerable in harm’s way. "Even in places with poor air quality, residents’ health will improve from walking and biking more. And they say the dangers from living near freeways can be reduced with anti-pollution design features recommended this year by state air regulators, including sound walls, vegetation barriers and high-efficiency air filters that remove some of the harmful particles from vehicle exhaust," Barboza and Zahniser report.

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Published on Sunday, December 17, 2017 in Los Angeles Times
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