Los Angeles Affordable Housing Preservation Study released by the Los Angeles Housing Department and Reconnecting America
Los Angeles' massive transit infrastructure investment promises benefits across the city and the region over the next decade and beyond, but it could also have unfortunate side effects if efforts aren't made to preserve affordable housing in transit-rich neighborhoods, according to a report commissioned by the City of Los Angeles Housing Department and written by Reconnecting America. The report was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, through the Awards for State & Local Housing Preservation Leaders of the Foundation's Window of Opportunity Initiative (WOI).
The report "Preservation in Transit-Oriented Districts: A Study on the Need, Priorities, and Tools in Protecting Assisted and Unassisted Housing in the City of Los Angeles," was unveiled at the Second Annual Affordable Housing Preservation Summit in Los Angeles on May 16, 2012.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told conference attendees: "The employees of the future will need housing options, and they will need transit options. If our housing market is to work, it has to work for everyone. From housekeepers to hedge-fund managers, we need housing linked to transit for all Angelenos."
Los Angeles has been working to match its transit expansion in recent years with transit-oriented district planning. At the Los Angeles Housing Department, the goal of ensuring that all families and workers are able to continue to live and work in the city's transit-rich neighborhoods is a key priority. The report provides a framework for prioritizing areas for preservation of existing affordable housing based on the anticipated change in market and demographic characteristics resulting from transit investments.
"We're continuing to deal with challenges to the preservation and creation of affordable housing units," said LAHD Interim General Manager Rushmore Cervantes. "Preservation strategies protect past federal and local investments. With new resources increasingly threatened, preservation is key to addressing the affordable housing needs of all Angelenos."
In the report, Reconnecting America provides empirical evidence showing the need for affordable housing preservation near transit. The report authors then use a data-driven analysis reflected in 16 maps to create a framework for preservation of different types of income restricted housing near transit.
Abigail Thorne-Lyman, the Director of the Center for Transit-Oriented Development at Reconnecting America, notes that "preservation of affordable housing is the best way to accommodate the economic growth and revitalization that comes with the major transit investment being built in Los Angeles, while ensuring that low and moderate income workers are able to continue to rely on transit and support ridership on the system."