LA’s planning department has approved nearly 20,000 new housing units in 2017

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The the city’s planning department said this week that between July and September of 2017, it approved plans for 7,359 new homes, apartments, and condos.

That’s well above the 5,657 units approved in the previous quarter, and a bit more than the 6,840 units approved in the three months before that. With 19,856 new residences now on the way to LA’s housing market this year, the city say it is on track to meet a 2014 goal set by Mayor Eric Garcetti to usher in 100,000 new units by 2021.

Garcetti’s goal is more than 20 percent higher than the 82,000 units that the planning department estimated the city would need by that time. His goal is aimed at addressing a housing shortage that has contributed to rising rents and home prices across the metro area.

The mayor has emphasized the need to make it easier for developers to build affordable housing. But of the units approved in the third quarter of 2017, the vast majority (6,956, or around 95 percent) will be market-rate housing and not subject to any affordability requirements.

#Housing Update: #Planning4LA approved 7,359 new units in Q3. At this rate, we’re on track to meet @MayorOfLA‘s goal of 100K units by 2021.

— LA City Planning (@Planning4LA) November 1, 2017

The remaining 403 units of affordable housing aren’t anything to sneeze at, but probably won’t do much to chip away at the 551,807 affordable residences that a recent report from the nonprofit California Housing Partnership Corporation suggested would be necessary to meet demand from lower income earners.

But planning department spokesperson Cheryl Getuiza tells Curbed that a number of new policies should spur the development of more affordable development.

Some of these, like a planned linkage fee that would charge developers up to $15 per square foot to fund new affordable construction, are still making their way through the city’s legislative process.

Others, like the city’s new Transit Oriented Communities program, which offers developers incentives for building affordable housing around public transportation stops, have only recently been rolled out.

Last year, Los Angeles voters also approved two ballot initiatives—Measure JJJ and Measure HHH—that should help add to the city’s stock of affordable housing. Measure JJJ requires developers of many projects to set aside a percentage of units for lower income earners, while HHH is expected to fund construction of 10,000 permanent-supportive residences for those experiencing homelessness.

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