Amid housing crisis, LA voters support duplexes in single-family neighborhoods

A majority of Los Angeles County voters support two new state laws designed to boost home construction, including one that significantly changes traditional zoning for single-family homes, according to a new poll.

The poll, conducted by the Los Angeles Business Council Institute and conducted in cooperation with the Los Angeles Times, provides one of the first tests of public reaction to the new laws, which could bring about a radical change in California’s development landscape. .

The laws, Senate Bills 9 and 10, come into force on January 1.

They were the culmination of a years-long debate in Sacramento over local zoning restrictions that can slow housing production. The fight sparked stiff opposition among homeowner groups, particularly in Los Angeles, where opponents said the proposals threatened to destroy single-family neighborhoods.

So far, the poll says, a majority of voters have not taken this disastrous view.

Across the county, 55% of voters support Senate Bill 9, which allows homeowners to build duplexes, and in some cases quadruple, in most single-family home neighborhoods across the state. In contrast, 27% were against the law while 18% were undecided.

Senate Bill 10, which enables local city councils to speed up the construction of apartment complexes of up to 10 units near transit centers and infill urban areas, including single-family home areas, is receiving increased support. He has the support of 68% of voters in the county with 13% against and 19% undecided.

The poll showed a clear difference between landlords and renters, especially on SB 9. Tenants backed the law by more than 3 to 1, while landlords were narrowly divided, according to the poll.

Almost two-thirds of all residences in the state are single-family homes and up to three-quarters of developable land in the state is now zoned only for single-family dwellings, according to a survey by the Terner Center for UC Berkeley. Housing innovation.

Bungalows and backyards have also long been seen as the key to the “California dream” of modest middle-class living.

But these homes continue to become less and less affordable. The median sale price of an existing single-family home statewide was $ 798,440 in October, according to the California Assn. real estate agents, an increase of more than 12% compared to last year. In LA County, the median selling price of $ 848,970 was almost 14% higher than last year.

Advocates of the new laws argue they can help keep prices down by spurring new construction in areas off limits to new growth.

“The housing affordability crisis is undermining the California dream of families across the state and threatening our long-term growth and prosperity,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said when signing the laws in September.

“Having a significant impact on this crisis will require bold investments, close collaboration… and the political courage of our leaders and our communities to do the right thing and build homes for all. “

Renter support for SB 9 likely stems from hopes the law will make homeownership easier, said Mark DiCamillo, director of polls at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Government Studies, who acted in as a consultant for The Times on the new poll.

“I think a lot of renters are trying to break into the homeownership business,” said DiCamillo. “They see this as a potential way to expand the supply and get smaller units to enter the market.”

DiCamillo said he was surprised even a plurality of homeowners supported the new law, given its potential to disrupt single-family home neighborhoods.

The results, including among homeowners, he said, “must be encouraging for supporters of the new law.”

Construction materials are delivered to a housing construction site in Koreatown on October 8, 2020.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Among LA County Democrats, 59% were in favor of SB 9, according to the poll. Republicans were closely divided, with opponents slightly outnumbering supporters, making them the only significant demographic against the law, according to the poll.

In the legislative debate, however, disputes over the new law were not clearly partisan.

Los Angeles City Council, where 14 of 15 representatives are Democrats, overwhelmingly opposed both laws, with West LA City Councilor Paul Koretz, a Democrat, saying they would “kill communities and the environment “. Some advocates in southern LA have opposed the new laws on the grounds that they would promote gentrification.

Some Republicans in the state legislature favored the two laws, arguing that they broadened property rights for homeowners.

Already, some cities in the state are planning policies to mitigate the effects of SB 9. Some, for example, would limit the size and height of new developments, impose parking spaces, and require additional housing units to be rented only. to those with moderate or low income.

Legal challenges to such measures are likely.

It is also possible that the new laws will not make a dramatic difference.

The laws do not prohibit the construction of new single family homes. SB 9 allows homeowners to build duplexes – or quads – on their land if they choose, but doesn’t require anyone to do so. Any change initiated by SB 10 requires approval from city council first.

Plus, other zoning changes in recent years have already made it much easier for homeowners to build smaller second homes – known as grandma apartments, casitas, or secondary suites – on plots zoned for single-family homes.

The poll was conducted between October 27 and November 3 among 906 registered voters in LA County. The sample was split for questions on SB 9 and SB 10, with about half of the voters polled on each bill. The margin of error for these results is 4.5 percentage points in both directions.

Source link

About admin

Check Also

Government to offer new grant to help people buy abandoned properties

A new grant of up to € 30,000 to help people buying abandoned properties to …