Ever since his election, Gov. Gavin Newsom has insisted that the state needs to build 3.5 million new units of housing, market-rate and affordable alike, in order to shelter all Californians affordably and comfortably. A few weeks ago, we found out what share of that increase will be borne by the greater Los Angeles region: 1.4 million.
In decades past, the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) process assigned modest goals and had even more modest enforcement. No longer. New laws, such as Senate Bill 35, and new political will, exemplified by Gov. Newsom’s willingness to sue cities that don’t accommodate enough housing, suggest that the new allocations are going to stick. The regional council of the Southern California Association of Governments has accepted its allocation and assigned every jurisdiction in the six-county area their respective shares, ranging from 15 units in the city of Industry to over 430,000 in the City of Los Angeles.
If and when they are built, pending potential lawsuits and planning challenges, these units will, collectively, change the face of Southern California. But first, municipalities must plan for them. They will have to update major planning documents — zoning codes, general plans, housing elements, transportation plans, and others — and, in some cases, reconsider their civic identities.
Please join the Westside Urban Forum and the Los Angeles chapter of the American Planning Association for a discussion of this critical issue that will define regional urbanism for the next decade.
WUF and APA Members: $20
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3101 W Exposition Pl, Los Angeles 90018
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