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So where's the affordable housing?

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After 18 years of affordable housing schemes, the City of Los Angeles has less affordable housing than ever, the City's own 600-employee Housing Department admits.

Max Taves in the Weekly has the numbers:

Minus 78 percent (yes, -78%): That’s the latest massive drop in the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, slashed from $45 million in last year’s city budget to just $10 million this year.

49: That’s L.A.’s bottom-of-the-barrel “housing affordability” rank out of 50 big American cities, with San Francisco ranked last, according to a 2008 survey by San Francisco nonprofit SustainLane.com.

$962: Last year’s average cost of renting in Los Angeles, 43 percent higher than in 2000.

10,000 to 14,000: The dwellings built in each year of L.A.’s just-ended boom, mostly in dense, multistory, “luxury” complexes.

330: The number of “affordable units” constructed each year, on average, during the same period, from 2003 to 2006.

7,369: The number of affordable units lost during the same period, mostly through conversions to luxury units but also demolitions related to new housing.

13,713: The net number of rent-controlled apartments and houses lost between 2001 and 2007 to demolition sparked by new construction and, even more often, to condo conversions sparked by the housing bubble’s rush to home ownership.


I'm not worried about the top figure, because the fund mostly goes to boondoggles anyway. But when you compare the pol's rhetoric to the social reality, you see that Los Angeles has simply squandered 18 years on affordable housing programs to no result whatsoever.

Taves also examines the vague and vaguely fraudulent Carol Schatz affordable housing plan I mentioned earlier.

The Housing Department will of course use its stats to try to validate more programs. The only question scribes need to ask anyone involved in an affordable housing plan is, "Will this plan truly have an across-the-board impact on the cost of housing in the City?" None ever do; affordable housing is largely larceny in the guise of social policy.