To address Los Angeles’ housing needs, the City has adopted a variety of ordinances and implementation tools that facilitate the development of a mix of housing types for residents of all incomes. The City also continues to pursue new policies. Contact Matthew.Glesne@lacity.org for more information.


      2013-2021 Housing Element of the General Plan is the City’s blueprint for meeting the City’s housing and growth challenges. It identifies housing conditions and needs, reiterates goals, objectives, and policies that are the foundation of the City’s housing and growth strategy, and provides an array of programs to create sustainable, mixed-income neighborhoods across the City.
    • Housing Policies Summary Sheet
      The Department continues to develop ordinances and other policy tools to implement the City's Housing Element. For a summary of some recently adopted and currently proposed ordinances, click here.

Facilitating Housing Development

      Under this initiative, the City is investigating potential new sources of local funds, and in particular, fees on commercial and market-rate residential development to be used solely to build affordable housing for lower-income residents. The first step is a study on the nexus between commercial and market rate residential development and the need for affordable housing in the City. The nexus study will be completed in late summer 2016.
      The City began work on a system of incentives and requirements to compel the inclusion of affordable units within all new residential projects. This initiative is on-hold pending resolution of State law and legal complications.
      Density bonus is a State-mandated program that allows housing developers to build an additional number of units over the allowable density in exchange for meeting certain citywide housing needs, such as including a percentage of affordable housing units, providing senior housing, or donating land for housing. Guidelines for understanding and applying for a density bonus are being prepared.
      All small lot subdivisions filed after February 1, 2014 must comply with or meet the intent of the attached 2014 Small Lot Design Guidelines through either methods listed in the Guidelines or through alternative methods that achieve the same objective. This Advisory Agency Policy and the attached Small Lot Design Guidelines replace and supersede the Advisory Agency's prior policies. This Policy also includes clarification for the inclusion of a mixed-use building as part of a small lot subdivision. for more information on the Policy, contact Jae H. Kim and on the Design Guidelines, contact Simon Pastucha.
      Residential Accessory Services (RAS) zones provide increased floor area and height and reduced setbacks for 100% residential or mixed use projects constructed on commercial corridors. These zones encourage mixed use development (housing and commercial) along underutilized commercial and transportation corridors.
      The Adaptive Reuse Ordinance facilitates the conversion of old, abandoned office buildings, including many beautiful, historic buildings, into housing by waiving building and zoning requirements for new construction that were difficult to apply to older, historic buildings. Complementing this, the Citywide Live/Work Ordinance permits under certain conditions, joint living and work quarters in abandoned industrial buildings that can no longer support employment uses. This has encouraged the reuse of underutilized buildings for artists and others to live and work in a single space, where it is not possible to re-use buildings for modern jobs.
      Per State law, second units can be developed on properties where there is an existing single family dwelling unit, given specific size requirements, local development standards, zoning requirements, and Building Code standards and requirements. An initiative to develop a City ordinance that would supersede the State’s requirements on second dwelling units is on hold pending availability of staff resources.
    • Condo Conversion
      The conversion of residential properties, such as apartments, into condominiums is guided by Zoning Code provisions. To promote a variety of housing options while also mitigating hardship caused by displacement of tenants, the Zoning Code provisions include (but are not limited to) consideration of rental housing vacancy rates and cumulative impacts on the availability of rental housing, allowing the denial of proposed conversions when such impacts are significant. The City also requires adequate notice to tenants of pending conversions, payment of relocation assistance for displaced tenants, and payment of a Rental Housing Production Fee to fund the development of affordable rental housing.
      The City works with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) to identify older school sites that can be reconfigured for the joint use of schools and affordable housing.

Special Needs Housing

    • Homeless Shelters
      Shelters for the Homeless, which provide an emergency place to live for up to six months, can be built in many places across the City, and seasonal winter shelter facilities are permitted in even more locations.
    • Eldercare Facilities
      A variety of service-enriched housing types for elderly and disabled persons are now clearly identified in the City’s Zoning Code, and approval to build such facilities with relevant code changes (such as reduced parking)has been streamlined.
      To protect Residential Hotels and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels serving extremely and/or very low income households, the City now requires the provision of replacement units or payment of an in-lieu fee when such properties are to be converted to another use or demolished, unless the property is exempt.
    • Equal Access to Housing for the Disabled
      To improve accessibility within residences, the City adopted an ordinance that streamlines and protects the privacy of applicants requesting special accommodations within housing units, while also providing flexibility in the application of zoning and development standards in order to eliminate barriers that relate to the applicant’s specific disability.