To fix overcrowding in L.A., build more housing, mayoral candidates say
This story published Aug. 15, 2017, is part of ABC 7’s special series on housing affordability.
After years of debate over the city’s housing crisis, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority has made real progress in increasing the supply of rental housing over the last several years.
Despite the improvements, city workers are still struggling to address the need for more affordable housing. Some believe the solution isn’t to increase supply, like the newly-minted city councilmember Eric Garcetti who proposed a “housing first” policy.
Instead, they say the city can build more housing, and reduce the amount of people on the streets, if they have a plan to build the new units.
“I am a tenant at least in spirit,” said Garcetti. “I will be a landlord in some capacity.”
The housing debate in Los Angeles is the focus of a special edition of “Good Morning America,” airing Sept. 9 at 6 a.m.
Last year, the new mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, put his proposals on the agenda to reduce homelessness and build more housing for the city’s poor.
“When we’re talking about solutions to affordability, we need to look beyond these four walls and into the lives of our neighbors,” Garcetti said, as he addressed the state auditor general’s housing audit committee in February.
The mayor also called on city leaders to make housing and homelessness as a team, like he said it’s done in other cities.
Garcetti said his approach would make the city’s housing crisis go away and it would also solve a problem that’s been a huge drain on the city’s resources.
“The other thing that’s been really difficult for our city to manage is homelessness, both the number of homeless, the number of people that need housing,” Garcetti said. “And I think the only way to do that is to really address the problem at its source.”
So far, Los Angeles is among the top five cities in the U.S. for new housing production, according to a recent report from the International City/County Management Association.
Los Angeles added 8,000 housing units in 2016, and Mayor Garcetti has promised to increase that number to 10,000 housing units.