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Incomes to Mix in New L.A. Housing Plan

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is planning to propose a $5 billion housing plan for the city that focuses on mixed-income development and locations near transit. Some applaud the move, but others worry it may not be feasible.
September 30, 2008, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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"The plan, which many City Council members and business and housing groups said they had not yet seen, is being released while the housing market is a shambles, the state is facing a massive budget shortfall and the economy is teetering -- challenges that lead some to wonder whether it is feasible."

"Some developers object to a so-called mixed-income provision that would require affordable housing to be included in new housing developments. They say that such a policy -- which labor and housing groups have been pushing for years -- would cast a pall over entrepreneurial efforts."

"Other elements of the plan, such as preserving existing affordable units and building near transit centers, are things the city already has pledged to do."

"Housing has become an increasingly pressing political issue in Los Angeles. Last month, the Los Angeles Business Council released a report saying that the high cost of housing, especially in places like the Westside, 'threatens the region's continued economic growth.'"

"Los Angeles was designated the least affordable metropolitan area in the country last year, according to the Business Council report, because so many people pay so much of their incomes for housing. The city also has the largest homeless population in the nation. In addition, although private developers have built many high-end apartment units and condos over the last few years, there has not been a similar increase for households earning less than $75,000 per year."

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Published on Monday, September 29, 2008 in Los Angeles Times
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