JULY 19, 2018
PHOTO: Photo: Will Wright

From the desk of Will Wright, Honorary AIA|LA
Director of Government & Public Affairs


Affordable Housing & Transit Oriented Communities

On Monday, July 16th, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning released a progress report on the impacts of Measure JJJ and the TOC program.  As you may recall, as approved by City of Los Angeles voters, Measure JJJ added provisions to the municipal code to require developers to either provide a certain number of affordable units on site or pay an in-lieu fee if and when they’re requesting certain entitlements beyond for what the site is currently zoned.

According to the report, currently in the pipeline DCP is tracking 6,485 units of proposed housing that will need to adhere to Measure JJJ (4,808 units at market-rate and 1,677 units of restricted affordable).  Of those units that will be seeking to take advantage of the TOC density bonuses provisions, DCP is tracking in the pipeline 5,571 units of housing (4,396 market-rate and 1,145 affordable).

This progress is good news for the creation of more mixed-income housing and complete communities.  What will be interesting to watch is how the current chaos of imposed steel and wood tariffs, the imminent trade war, the global economy and the impact of higher interest rates will impact the Los Angeles housing market.  Also, I’ll be tracking how the Affordable Housing Linkage Fee impacts the delivery of more housing in general, as well as, how the incentives embedded in the AHLF to avoid the fee by integrating the requisite affordable units on site will contribute to more mixed-income housing throughout the city.

Click here to read the LADCP Measure JJJ Housing Progress Report.


Are you ready to vote on November 6th?

In about four months we will have the chance to vote on several statewide ballot initiatives that will directly impact the built & natural environment, our communities & neighborhoods and relate quite deeply to the architecture profession as a whole.

As architects, here is your chance to become more familiar with the prospective merits and detriments of each of these ballot measures and to share your voice with both AIA Los Angeles and AIA California Council.  Should AIA support, oppose or remain neutral on each of these initiatives?  I look forward to further engaging the profession to become stronger advocates with regards to these ballot measures so that we will have more impact on the outcome of each.

Proposition 1 Veterans & Affordable Housing Bond Act:  Issues $4 billion in bonds for housing programs and veterans’ home loans

Proposition 2 – No Place Like Home Act:  Authorizes state to use revenue from millionaire’s tax for $2 billion in bonds for homelessness prevention housing

Proposition 3 – Water Infrastructure and Watershed Conservation Bond Initiative:  Issues $8.877 billion in bonds for water-related infrastructure and environmental projects

Proposition 4 – Children’s Hospitals Construction Bond Act: Issues $1.5 billion in bonds for children’s hospitals

Proposition 5 – Property Tax Transfer Initiative:  Revises process for homebuyers who are age 55 or older or severely disabled to transfer their tax assessments

Proposition 6 – Eliminates Recently Enacted Road Repair and Transportation Funding: Repeals 2017’s fuel tax and vehicle fee increases and requires public vote on future increases.  FYI, the current fuel tax, which was established by the Road Repair & Accountablity Act of 2017, is contributing $5.2 billion annually to fix roads, bridges and transit projects throughout the State.

Proposition 10 – Expands Local Government’s Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property: Allows local governments to regulate rent

If you would like to express your perspective on any of these ballot initiatives, please contact me at will@aialosangeles.  I will be sharing your input with my colleagues at AIA California Council.


AIA Home Design Trends Survey

Results from an American Institute of Architects (AIA) survey is revealing a new trend taking shape among homeowners who are seeking to add rental units and finished basements to their properties.

“Data from the first quarter shows that homeowners are increasingly looking to architects to design additional living quarters for their homes,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD. Hon. AIA. “It could be due to kids returning home to live with their parents to save money or homeowners taking advantage of a growing rental market due to the lack of affordable housing in major markets throughout the country.”

The latest AIA Home Design Trends survey results—which details trends on a quarterly basis—shows major interest among architecture firm clients in home additions that can function as separate living quarters, ostensibly as a source of rental income. Among the survey’s findings:

  • Sixty-three percent of firms reported clients interested in adding rental units and accessory dwellings, which is up from 51 percent reporting such an interest in 2017’s first quarter;


  • Almost 40 percent of firms reported a jump in interest in finished basements or attics, which is up from 32 percent during the same time last year;
  • Thirty-four percent of firms indicated an interest by clients in building micro-housing units on their properties, compared with 31 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, housing affordability continues to be a focus of client inquiries to architecture firms. According to the survey, 13.5 percent of firms reported inquiries from clients for this type of housing. This represents a jump of 36 percent from the number of firms reporting such inquiries last year. The number of firms reporting interest by clients in town home and condominium design was almost 19 percent in the first quarter, up more than 25 percent from the interest expressed in the first quarter of 2017.

Complete details of the AIA Home Design Trends Survey can be reviewed online.


Will Wright, Hon. AIA|LA
Director, Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects- Los Angeles Chapter

3780 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 701
Los Angeles, CA 90010

(o) (213) 639-0764
email:  will@aialosangeles.org