On Nov. 8, 2023, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass signed Executive Directive No. 7, which aims to streamline and accelerate housing production in Los Angeles.
Bass stated in a press release: “I am taking action to make living in Los Angeles more affordable by signing this executive directive to incentivize more housing to be built for people of all income levels, with an emphasis on affordable housing and mixed income housing, to begin to address the barriers to home ownership and to help convert existing buildings into housing.”
The directive calls for a multidepartment approach within the city to, among other things, incentivize the construction of more affordable units and reduce red tape around adaptive reuse conversion of office and other types of buildings to housing. The directive also calls for the formation of a working group of staff members from a variety of city departments to examine current procedures, with the goal of streamlining permit processes and other approval items to ultimately reduce processing times by 25-30%.
The directive instructs the planning department to prepare a draft ordinance to raise the unit threshold for triggering site plan review, and to explore available tools to streamline the California Environmental Quality Act process. Although the directive does not contain any clear guideposts about what the new unit thresholds or processes may look like, the directive signals a clear desire to expedite the approval process for affordable and mixed-income housing projects.