Having made a deep financial commitment to create housing for some of its 27,000 unsheltered homeless people, Los Angeles is falling short in building new apartments to take thousands of people off the streets, a new study finds.
Nearly three years after city voters approved a $1.2 billion construction program over 10 years, the city has yet to see the first building completed. Average per-apartment costs have zoomed more than $100,000 past prior predictions, the study by city Controller Ron Galperin finds.
“To create a bigger impact now and in the future, the city must make some immediate changes to its approach,” said Galperin in comments via email. “Los Angeles needs to figure out how to make the cost of development cheaper and the timeline quicker.”
At an average cost of $531,373 per unit – with many apartments costing more than $600,000 each – building costs of many of the homeless units will exceed the median sale price of a market-rate condominium. In the city of Los Angeles, the median price for a condo is $546,000, and a single-family home in Los Angeles County has a median price of $627,690, the study states.