Metro Gold Line. Photo by John Schreiber.
Metro Gold Line. Photo by John Schreiber.

The Metro board agreed Thursday to look into steps for ensuring affordable housing is built around public transportation hubs, including creating a $10 million fund and setting a goal of building 35 percent affordable housing on Metro-owned land.

Metro staffers were asked to report back on those ideas, which were proposed in a motion backed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who chairs the board, and county Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas, Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis.

The motion suggests putting $2 million annually over a five-year period into the proposed Countywide Transit Oriented Affordable Housing loan fund, and calls for giving land discounts on Metro-owned land to help with reaching the goal of 35 percent affordable housing on Metro property.

The motion points to high housing costs in Los Angeles and the need to ensure people are able to afford living near rail lines, which in turn would cut down on pollution.

“Our transportation infrastructure program represents the nation’s largest public works program, and it’s important that we seize the opportunity to maximize all the benefits that can go along with it, including affordable housing and jobs,” Garcetti said. “The link between affordable housing and transit is a common-sense one that will boost our economy and cut traffic.”

The affordable housing measures are being considered as Metro is constructing the Downtown Regional Connector and extensions of the Expo and Gold lines, and the Crenshaw line connection to Los Angeles International Airport. Work on the Rapid Bus Line on Wilshire is also nearly finished.

“We cannot afford to have a status quo approach to developing our transportation infrastructure,” Metro board director Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker said. “As MTA invests billions in the region’s transportation infrastructure, it must also take care to work closely with cities and with community stakeholders to guide responsible development that preserves and creates opportunities for all.”

— City News Service

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