ACT-LA Video Makes Case For Affordable Transit-Oriented Housing

Still from ACT-LA's video
Still from ACT-LA's video

Watch the video below from L.A.’s Alliance for Community Transit (ACT-LA) exploirng issues of gentrification and displacement in South L.A. ACT-LA is a multi-nonprofit coalition working for just, equitable, sustainable neighborhoods and transit systems that serve all people in Los Angeles. ACT-LA has pushed the city of L.A. to adopt equitable transit-oriented development (TOD) policies.

  • The video makes the case for requiring a set-aside of deed-restricted affordable units in new developments. It would be worth looking at the details of any such proposal carefully. Affordable units benefit the people who receive them, but they also increase the cost of the market-rate units in the development and could disincentive market-rate development (more of which is needed to bring down the cost of housing). If such a policy is adopted, what is the correct income level to target? What percentage of units should be made affordable? Who polices all of those affordability covenants? What are the costs and benefits of different options? An attempt at some objective economic analysis would help to make those decisions.

    I’m suspicious of round number statements like 20% of units in a new development should be affordable to people making 50-80% of area median income. How was that conclusion reached? Why not 5% or 30% or 13.4%? Why not a different income category? The devil’s in the details.