Zocalo Public Square event on Tuesday: can transit make housing more afforable?


Here is the description of the panel discussion scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night at MOCA on Grand Street in DTLA:

Rising Los Angeles real estate prices are squeezing low- and middle-income residents, who spend an estimated 40 percent of their annual income on housing.

Gentrification has become a hot-button issue across the region, and many of the neighborhoods that are in transition–such as Highland Park and Boyle Heights on the Gold Line–are along the paths of newly built or expanded public transit. Credit for the explosion of the real estate market in Downtown L.A. belongs in part to its bus and rail lines, which attract a younger generation of Angelenos to work, live, and play there.

But can transit also play a role in creating more affordable housing? In cities such as Seattle, Miami, and Denver, planners, government agencies, and developers are working together on creating “transit-oriented development” that aim to both boost ridership on bus and rail lines while building more affordable housing nearby. And in Los Angeles, private and public organizations are partnering on redevelopment near new transit lines in order to ensure that long-time residents don’t get priced out even as areas grow more dense and new retail and housing come in.

Can L.A.’s transit boom solve the region’s growing housing crisis? Tony Salazar, president of West Coast operations for developer McCormack Baron Salazar, Calvin Hollis, Metro managing executive officer for countywide planning & development, L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin, and urban planning policy analyst Joan Ling visit Zócalo to discuss the role transit can play in making Los Angeles a more affordable place to live.

It’s a good topic and one that has certainly been in the news in other cities that are also expanding their rail systems. Curbed LA’s Adrian Glick Kudler is moderating the discussion. Click here to make a reservation to attend. This is part of an ongoing series of events in partnership between Zocalo and Metro.

Categories: Go Metro

2 replies

  1. Why would they? The more NIMBYs are able to hold out, the more money they can sell their home for. If demand is high and supply is low, it’s a seller’s market. They have no obligation to sell for cheap. Why do you think these decrepit old homes all over LA go for ridiculous prices?


    “I have a single story home built in the 1920s, infested with asbestos and in need of lots of repairs. But over my dead body that you’ll sell me out to make way for a high rise condo! This family has been in my family for generations! No to high density development! No to everything, and I’ll throw every excuse that I can think of from ever letting that happen! OTOH, if you slap my face with a billion dollars, I might consider.”

    LA could’ve avoided all of this had they not planned to make this region with so much sprawl. But what “long term planning” was never LA’s strong points; you know like the reliance on the honor system that took them two decades to figure out that it was bad idea?

  2. Unfortunately, it’s usually the anti-density NIMBY folks who ruin everything. You know, the anthropophobic Baby Boomer generation addicted to the suburban car lifestyle who don’t want a 40 storey high condo near by because of xenophobia, when Millennials don’t really care that a big deal about high-density lifestyles, but rather embrace the idea?

    Because of them, high-density projects that’s supposed to help the affordability index by bringing in more supply gets downgraded to low-density projects. Metro too is guilty of this, with their backward minded planners thinking that 90 new units near a Metro station is going to help curb prices when we need hundreds of thousands of new units as LA’s population continues to increase.

    The demand for residences remain at an all time high and construction is not happening fast enough. Demolish decrepit old homes and build higher, taller condos, fast, quick, and all over LA. That’s what needs to happen.

    And no more apartments! People do not want to remain renters forever, the primary goal of every middle class American is home ownership. If you can’t buy a home, then a condo ownership will suffice. I’d gladly put down a mortgage on a $250,000 condo unit over paying $1,500+ a month in rent.