In Los Angeles, a Standoff Over Measures to Increase Housing Density

Efforts to increase the amount of housing in California are hitting a roadblock in Los Angeles, where city councilmembers have mounted an opposition to loosen the state’s regulations on multifamily units.

Two bills recently introduced in the California Senate would allow several new avenues by which homebuilders might develop multi-family units on land originally zoned for single-family dwellings. California is among the states struggling the most with restricted housing stock amid the broader housing crunch.

Yet the Los Angeles City Council this week announced a resolution opposing the measures, claiming the state-level bills would wrest local control of housing away from local authorities.

The bills “are the third annual attempt by San Francisco Sen. Scott Weiner to destroy local control over multi-family and single-family zoning in the state of California,” Councilman Paul Koretz said.

“This council has unanimously voted to oppose essentially the same bills twice before and we should do it again,” he argued.

The bills are also opposed by the nonprofit group Housing is a Human Right, which claims that they contain “no requirement for affordable housing or homeless housing.”