Metro Considering Joint Development of Transit Land To Build Affordable Housing

Agency looking into goal of building 10,000 units of affordable housing

By Dolores Quintana

LA Metro has received a report looking into a goal of building 10,000 units of affordable housing during the next 10 years on Metro owned land. 

This joint development could be achieved by building these affordable units on already owned parcels of land that Metro plans to develop while expanding the current Los Angeles transit system of Metro buses and trains according to Urbanize

Half of these new homes would be available as rentals at a below market rate. The already existing homes and apartments, about 2,220, that have already been built on Metro lands are part of this quota. About 800 of these units are set aside as income restricted units. As of now, planned construction and those units currently under construction, if they come to fruition, would result in 4,600 units on Metro lands with more than 1,700 units that would have rents in the affordable housing range. 

Four months ago, the Metro board agreed upon a joint development policy to facilitate the best use of Metro property to assist with the housing crisis in Los Angeles. Some of the most relevant points of this policy are:

Projects will be prioritized where the need for housing is the highest and the greatest benefit may be realized the fastest.

To address neighborhood concerns around gentrification and displacement, Metro will use local income and rent data to help set rents for income-restricted units.

The policy also states this important point, “Transit systems are most effective if they are surrounded by transit-supportive land uses that include jobs, housing, schools, and amenities. While Metro does not have land use authority in Los Angeles County (cities or L.A. County holds this power), Metro can leverage the land it owns to deliver transit-supportive uses.”

These parts of the policy would not only allow, but encourage participation by organizations that are part of the community that the housing is being built in. It would also allow for smaller and medium sized contractors to have the opportunity to take part in the revenue generating construction.

In addition, to take advantage of the state of California’s density bonus and the City of Los Angeles’ TOC guidelines, Metro has increased the level of affordability from 60%, very low income, to 80%, low income.

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