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LA’s pace of housing development slows in 2017

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But the city is still on track to meet Mayor Garcetti’s goal of 100,000 new units

New apartments under construction jeremy jozwik | Curbed LA Flickr Pool

In 2014, Mayor Eric Garcetti called for construction of 100,000 new units of housing by 2021 in response to a statewide housing shortage that has contributed to rapidly escalating rents. A new report from Abundant Housing shows that the city is on track to meet that goal, despite a drop in the pace of housing development since last year.

The report shows that 3,850 units were permitted in the first quarter of 2017. In all of 2016, 15,706 units were permitted, so if the current pace of development continues for the rest of the year, the 15,400 units permitted would be a little shy of the previous year’s number.

It’s not a big shortfall, but, as the housing advocacy group points out, close to one in five units that have received permits in the early months of 2017 have been single-family residences. Because these projects often replace existing homes (when owners demolish properties and rebuild), their impact on the city’s overall housing stock is minimal.

While the pace of single-family home development has quickened since last year, permits for most categories of multifamily projects have decreased a bit. Smaller developments with two to four and five to 19 units, as well as larger projects with 50 units or more, have all been permitted at a slower pace than 2016 in the first quarter of 2017.

With nearly four years left until 2021, Los Angeles has permitted a little over half the 100,000 units called for by Garcetti. The question now is whether the city can maintain that pace of development.