KPCC: Why LA County could lose $3 billion worth of affordable housing

KPCC: Why LA County could lose $3 billion worth of affordable housing
April 5, 2018 Peter

The PATH Metro Villas, in Hollywood, are part of L.A.'s big push to increase the number of affordable housing units available.L.A. County is at risk of losing roughly $3 billion worth of affordable housing in the next five years, according to a draft report presented to county officials Thursday. On top of that, efforts to build new units for homeless and low-income people in the county are also hitting snags.  Why? A combination of gentrification, federal tax reform, and the circuitous way affordable housing is funded in this country are mostly to blame. The U.S. has largely stepped away from building things like public housing projects. Instead, we have affordable housing developments that are public-private hybrids—meaning private developers use public funds to construct affordable housing developments, which they then agree to operate at reduced rents for a period. Eventually, those periods expire, and the developer can then choose to raise the rents. The same is true of Section 8-funded apartment buildings. Once the federal contract for rental subsidies expires, the owner is free to do as they wish with rents.

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