Can LA Homelessness Issues Be Assuaged Before World Cup, 2028 Olympics?

GlobeSt.com | By Viktor Simco, Associate Director, Paloma Realty Partners

How can we mitigate traffic congestion, the housing affordability crisis, and homelessness before the 2026 World Cup and 2028 Olympics in LA? Although Metro expansion could be a solution, it may also be taxpayer dollars poorly allocated if executed unwisely. According to Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, two cents of every dollar spent in LA ($6.6 billion) will be going toward Metro services. This is both exciting and worrisome for property owners, developers, and residents surrounding the newly projected rail stations.

While the housing affordability crisis is a daunting task, innovative developers and astute city officials are symbiotically tackling this issue with the utmost caution. Despite rising construction costs and interest rates, mixed use projects like the 573-unit development near the Expo / Crenshaw station show no signs of decelerating, especially with the perks of the Transit Oriented Communities Affordable Housing Incentive Program. Some thrifty residential property owners are even building Accessory Dwelling Units (i.e. in-law units, granny flats) to assist housing affordability, but they should be aware of ADU parking requirements within a ½ mile of major public transit stops. Contrarily, the stringent TOC stipulations may strain smaller projects while LA city planners are also writing stricter rules for residential development near freeways (due to negative health effects including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and childhood leukemia). Owners of antiquated properties near metro stations should also be concerned. One dormant site near Vermont & Manchester was recently seized by the city of LA via eminent domain and is now being converted into affordable housing, a transit plaza, and public school. Although we are still bullish, we must keep a keen eye on rent control policies and other development disincentives. Fred Sutton, Vice President of Public Affairs at the California Apartment Association says “California is close to a million units short of supply needed to accommodate demand. It’s fundamental math and rent control has been studied ad nauseum to undoubtedly have a disproportionate effect on the economically disadvantaged. It will increase housing scarcity and ultimately lead to an increase in the cost to find housing.”

Kenzie Gallagher