September 26, 2013 |
Despite their potential as affordable, well-built housing for the masses, modern prefabs in California have tended to be custom-built designs that exceed prospective buyers' budgets. In South Los Angeles, however, a nonprofit organization called Restore Neighborhoods LA recently finished three architect-designed prefab houses topped with solar panels and aimed at low- and moderate-income families. The RNLA houses were designed by the Santa Monica firm Minarc , headed by the wife-husband team of Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson, and built with the couple's interlocking panel system, dubbed mnmMOD. A bonus: mnmMOD is produced in nearby Vernon, providing local jobs and cutting down on transportation costs, the firm said.
September 25, 2013
Re "Beyond the CRAs," Editorial, Sept. 22 The legislation The Times has endorsed to create Sustainable Community Investment Authorities (SCIAs) to succeed Community Redevelopment Agencies has a serious defect. It allows elected politicians to spend future tax revenues today. The Times' editorial writers take comfort in the fact that SCIA boards would be "bound by state ethics, open-meeting and public record laws. " That will not stop them from promising future tax revenues as collateral for projects they want today.
September 22, 2013 |
The genius of the state's late and not-very-much-lamented community redevelopment agencies was that they built projects that raised property values and then kept for themselves the higher tax receipts that resulted. Normally, taxes are divvied up among the city, the county, the school districts and the state, but in a California-style CRA project area, any tax receipts beyond what the parcel already had been generating would stay with the agency to pay off bonds and invest in new projects.
July 25, 2013 |
Want to pay Midwest prices for a West Coast home? Despite skyrocketing home prices in Southern California, some communities still offer bargain-basement homes - even by national standards. The 10 most affordable ZIP codes all rest in the Inland Empire, where the median home price in some communities remains below $100,000, among them Barstow and Twentynine Palms. But those homes are becoming harder and harder to find, as investors have scooped up many of the houses to either flip or rent out. In June, the number of Southland homes that sold below $200,000 fell 43.2% from a year earlier, while the number of homes priced under $300,000 dropped 35%, according to research firm DataQuick.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 19, 2013 |
In one of the biggest transportation decisions of City Hall's new administration, Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed three Los Angeles representatives to the board of the county's transportation agency on Thursday. The freshman directors on the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority board are L.A. City Councilmen Mike Bonin and Paul Krekorian, and affordable housing advocate Jackie Dupont-Walker. The city of Los Angeles has the biggest voting bloc of any municipality on the board, which often provides an advantage during votes on policies that would help - or hurt - the city.
July 14, 2013
Re "How NIMBYs hurt California," Opinion, July 12 Economist Christopher Thornberg evidently wants us to believe that market economics do not apply to individual real estate developers. Referring to a proposed retail-residential development in West L.A., he states, "Of the residences, more than 10% will have an 'affordable' status, meaning other units will be priced commensurately higher to subsidize them. " Does Thornberg believe that a developer can pass on each dollar of additional cost to the consumer?