The Los Angeles City Council moved forward Tuesday with an effort to explore ways of increasing the city’s stock of moderate-income housing.

City Councilman David Ryu said he brought forth the idea as a way to support Los Angeles’ middle class.

“Right now, the largest share of Angelenos are getting the smallest share of new housing. We need to flip that math,” Ryu said. “Far too many middle-class Angelenos are being pushed to the margins of our city, competing for a smaller and smaller share of moderately priced housing, all while luxury units sit empty.”

Under his motion, the city will look to establish incentives for the development of more moderate-income housing, initially by identifying the segment of the city’s population that is above the income level that qualifies for affordable housing but remains burdened by rent costs.

The plan also seeks to identify possible changes to financial, zoning and permitting processes to increase moderate-income housing.

According to Ryu, city planning department data shows that from 2014 through 2018, more than 80,000 new housing units were built in Los Angeles, and 91% of them were priced at the “above-moderate” income level, while a half-percent of them were priced a moderate-income levels.

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