While the broad economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are yet to be determined, the increase in the number of proposed housing units indicates a growth in demand for housing development. Between July and September, City Planning processed applications for 4,517 units of new housing, representing a 30 percent increase from the prior quarter.
Twenty-five percent of all proposed units in the third quarter of Calendar Year 2020 are restricted affordable. This includes 675 units of Low Income housing, 176 units of Very Low Income housing, and 213 units of Extremely Low Income housing. 26 percent of all units proposed in 2020 have been restricted affordable - largely in line with the 29 percent affordability rate in 2019 and well ahead of the 11 percent affordability for 2018. There were a total of 18 projects proposed consisting entirely of affordable units. These projects are expected to generate 875 units of affordable housing.
The Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) and Density Bonus (DB) programs combined to generate nearly half of all units proposed this quarter, indicating the continuing strength of incentive programs to drive housing development. Between July and September, there were a total of 1,508 units proposed through the TOC program. Thirty percent of all TOC units proposed this quarter were restricted affordable, with units restricted to households in the Low Income category comprising the majority of affordable TOC units.
Since its inception in the third quarter of 2017, the TOC incentive program has added more than 32,000 units of housing to the City’s development pipeline, including nearly 7,100 units of affordable housing. Stand-alone Density Bonus projects have generated nearly 27,000 units of housing, and Density Bonus incentives requested in conjunction with Zone Changes and General Plan Amendments have generated an additional 7,200 units of housing.
The rate of housing units approved dipped this quarter, falling nearly 37 percent from the second quarter of 2020. However, this trend is not unexpected given the decline in project filings during the second quarter. Between July and September, City Planning staff approved 4,581 units of housing, including 700 units of affordable housing. More than two-thirds of all approved affordable units were in 100% affordable projects. These nine projects are expected to generate 450 units of affordable housing.
While just 15 percent of all units approved in the third quarter were affordable, 20 percent of all units approved this year were affordable. Further, the share of affordable units approved in this quarter matches the share of affordable units approved in the third quarter of 2019. Given the sharp increase in proposed units in the third quarter, the Department expects to see the number of units approved increase over subsequent quarters.
Be sure to visit the interactive Housing Progress Dashboard for more details at planning.lacity.org/resources/housing-reports