The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved two motions Tuesday designed to accelerate the production of housing units for the homeless in Los Angeles and create 25,000 such units by 2025.
Councilman Kevin de Leon introduced the motions last month as part of his “A Way Home” initiative.
The first one instructs the Department of Building and Safety, in coordination with several other departments, to develop an expedited permitting process for projects with the most amount of permanent supportive and affordable housing.
“The city must do everything in its power to make the construction of new affordable housing as quick and least expensive as possible,” de Leon said in the motion.
The new process mandates a maximum review of 15 business days, and the departments will also explore establishing a tiered structure of expediting projects based on their value and volume. Under the tiered system, projects with the largest amount of permanent supportive and affordable housing would be prioritized.
The departments were also instructed to create a central coordination hub to expedite housing, as well as report back to the City Council with:
— a proposed sliding scale for process review times;
— staffing and technology needs;
— ordinance changes needed to implement an expedited process and central coordination hub; and
— potential revenue sources needed to implement a streamlined system.
The second motion instructs the Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Engineering, in coordination with several other departments, to create a limited set of standard plans for modular multi-family homeless and affordable housing, bungalow courts and accessory dwelling units. The plans would include architectural, structural, grading, mechanical, electrical and plumbing guides.
“One of the major barriers to the construction of affordable housing in a timely manner is the need to develop plans that meet all the necessary code and zoning requirements,” de Leon said in the motion.
“…In order to reduce the time it takes to construct housing while at the same time ensuring that it is constructed to zoning and building codes, the city should create pre-approved standard plans for the most frequent building types and make them free to the public for the purposes of reducing project costs and accelerating housing construction.”
De Leon unveiled “A Way Home” on Jan. 12 as a comprehensive attempt to address homelessness in the city.
“Sadly, our great city has lacked what I call a `North Star,’ a clearly defined objective, and a timeline for achieving that objective. By introducing a comprehensive plan, we are providing a way for the people we represent to hold us accountable for delivering results,” de Leon said at the time.
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