April 22, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

City Council to Consider Innovative Incentive to Boost Large Family Apartment Construction

City Council President Introduces Density Bonus Plan to Address Housing Needs

The Los Angeles City Council will consider a motion filed by City Council President Paul Krekorian to introduce a novel density bonus incentive aimed at fostering the construction of large family units in newly developed apartment buildings, according to a report from Urbanize Los Angeles.

The motion entails the Planning Department’s establishment of a density bonus program, specifically exempting the square footage of third, fourth, and fifth bedrooms, along with third and fourth bathrooms, from the floor area calculations for large family apartments.

Under this program, developers would have the flexibility to incorporate an additional story of height beyond existing zoning restrictions and capitalize on bonuses for projects predominantly featuring large family units.

Moreover, the proposal incorporates a crucial element: a 99-year covenant ensuring the apartments maintain a consistent unit mix reserved for households earning no more than 120 percent of the area median income.

Council President Krekorian identifies the pressing issue as a scarcity of larger apartments, creating challenges for larger families in their quest for suitable and affordable rental housing. Approximately 17 percent of the city’s renter households currently reside in cramped flats.

The motion aligns with adapting to the shifts brought about by the pandemic, especially the broad transition to remote work. Larger residential units are seen as more adaptable to multi-generational households.

Krekorian emphasizes that despite a third of households in Los Angeles comprising four or more people, merely 14 percent of the renter-occupied housing stock includes three- or four-bedroom units.

The motion asserts that new rental units tend to be smaller, with a majority comprising studios or one-bedroom units.

Crucially, the proposed large family unit bonus would be supplementary to existing incentives available through the density bonus and Transit Oriented Communities guidelines.

This proposal coincides with the city’s imperative to add 255,000 new homes by 2029. As part of this endeavor, city planning officials are introducing a citywide adaptive reuse ordinance, expanding on an existing program that facilitated the conversion of numerous older Downtown office buildings into residential spaces.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County, a historic proponent of single-family housing sprawl, grapples with having more overcrowded homes than any other region in the U.S. A report by the Los Angeles Times in October 2022 revealed that, for three decades, the county has led the nation in overcrowded housing, with 11 percent of homes now accommodating more than one occupant per room. Over 370,000 families in Los Angeles County currently endure overcrowded living conditions.

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