Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

SoCal cities buckle down to fight density

by Leo Duran | Take Two

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A mixed-use development in Santa Monica on 5th St between Broadway and Santa Monica Blvd. The building has retail spaces on the ground level and residential units on the floors above. Leo Duran/KPCC

There is a housing crisis in Southern California, but many communities aren't down with one of the solutions: density.

Advocates suggest a range of alternatives, from creating more affordable apartments to increasing rent subsidies.

Many housing experts argue that it's important to embrace density so more homes are created in less space.

But battles have sprung up throughout SoCal over having neighbors living closer together:

  • In Los Angeles, a proposed ballot initiative by the group Stop Manhattanwood targets zoning rules for large-scale real estate developments.
  • Huntington Beach rejected a plan to build more affordable homes in several locations. If an alternative isn't found, the city would violate a state mandate to create a set number of low-income units each year.
  • Activists in Santa Monica are working to put a ballot initiative up for a vote in November. It would require the public vote to approve any project taller than 32 feet.

USC housing expert Raphael Bostic joins Take Two to look at the public support for denser neighborhoods.

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