Why Is LA Blocking Construction?

  • 2 min read

Everyone recognizes the dire need for homes, especially in areas like Los Angeles, where a housing shortage has reached critical levels. The city stands as a stark example of this crisis, grappling with homelessness and skyrocketing housing prices. Despite a slowdown in real estate transactions, prices continue to surge due to unbalanced supply and demand.

City Council’s Inaction: A Political Stalemate
An LA Times article sheds light on the city’s inertia in approving new home construction. The City Council holds back on two community plans crucial for expediting construction processes. These plans aim to ease developer regulations and increase housing units in downtown LA. However, the holdup is rooted in politics and scandal, where conflicts stall progress and vested interests potentially corrupt decision-making.

Numerical Imbalance and Opposition
The numbers highlight the urgency: projections suggest a need for 450,000 new homes in Los Angeles by 2029, a number that falls short considering actual population growth requirements. Despite this, the downtown area expects a mere 20% addition to its housing stock over 20 years, a fraction of the needed expansion. Conflicting opinions from business groups, neighborhood owners, and industries like Hollywood contribute to this gridlock.

National Crisis: Beyond Los Angeles
Los Angeles mirrors a national trend of housing shortages. Estimates suggest a staggering $5 million home deficit across the US. Considering Los Angeles County’s requirement alone stands at 450,000 homes, a significant fraction of the total, it’s likely that the national housing shortage is much higher. The country’s current housing construction rate, lagging behind demand, exacerbates this crisis.

Consequences of Insufficient Housing
The consequences of this shortage are dire. High interest rates and soaring prices make homeownership unattainable for many. Insufficient housing stock prevents prices from stabilizing, perpetuating the crisis and pushing people further away from their goal of owning a home. Addressing this shortfall requires urgent action and a collaborative effort beyond local politics to meet the growing demand for homes nationwide.

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