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Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

Blumenfield Concerned Over Lack of Affordable Housing in Warner Center

Since the Warner Center 2035 Specific Plan launched in late 2013, there has been a burst of multifamily development, but now a principal author of the plan wants to fix its approach to affordable housing. Curbed Los Angeles reports that, according to figures offered by the office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield, L.A.’s planning department has approved 2,502 units of housing in Warner Center, a figure that includes no low- or middle-income affordable housing units. “We need to rectify this issue,” Blumenfield said at a Los Angeles City Council planning and land use management committee meeting last week. “For the Warner Center to be truly transit and pedestrian-oriented, and to thrive in an economically diverse area, we need an economically diverse population.” Woodland Hills average rental rate, according to CoStar Group, hits $2,143. In the face of rising rents and about 600,000 affordable units needed to fulfill demand, the city of Los Angeles has struggled to stimulate construction of housing targeting low-income and middle-class residents. In May, Blumenfield submitted a motion asking planning staffers to investigate ways to drum up the creation of more affordable housing in the San Fernando Valley, including adding an “inclusionary housing” policy to the Warner Center 2035 plan. At the meeting, the planning and land use management committee asked planning staffers to begin community outreach for an affordable housing component of the Warner Center plan. “If we don’t get on this train soon enough, we’re going to miss opportunities for affordable housing,” said Blumenfield. However, city planner Tom Glick responded with his concern that affordability requirements alienate developers, claiming that since the City Council approved “linkage fees” on new residential projects last year, Warner Center development has slowed to a stop. “We’ve had zero filings,” Glick said.

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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