The Real Deal: Are LA’s affordable housing developers getting priced out of the market?

The Real Deal: Are LA’s affordable housing developers getting priced out of the market?
March 16, 2018 Joanna Rivas

Born in Los Angeles, Andre Bueno has called many places home. He eventually moved to the Midwest, where he became a developer of affordable housing and a principal at Bueno Group. When he returned to L.A., he hoped to create affordable housing developments in a city in desperate need of them. Bueno quickly found the task wouldn’t be so easy. Paying non-union labor, Bueno said, gives developers a 15 percent profit margin. But a recently-passed L.A. law requires developers pay union wages if they want to receive incentives for construction with at least 8-25 percent affordable units. That would increase costs by 30 percent, Bueno said, leaving the developer in the red. “No one would loan you the money. The project just doesn’t work,” he said.

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