[Report Released] Tackling the Housing Crisis: Streamlining to Increase Housing Production in Los Angeles

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For the past 10 months, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Professor Stuart Gabriel at UCLA Anderson and the LABC Institute on a study of housing production delays in Los Angeles. Using mostly public data sources, we put together a unique dataset of multifamily housing development timelines, from the first entitlement or permit application to the final Certificate of Occupancy. The dataset allowed us to develop a model of development time and to simulate how different streamlining proposals would have affected production.

One of the main takeaways from the report is that the rate of housing production could be increased significantly simply by shortening timelines. If approval times were shortened by 25%, an additional 10,054 housing units would have been produced between 2010 and 2022, a 14.1% gain over baseline. This effect is driven entirely by the effect of pulling unfinished projects forward in time; it does not take into account the new projects that would be started and incentivized by the cost savings entailed by shorter approval times. If these cost savings were taken into account, then the gain in production would be even larger.

The report goes into more detail about specific policy recommendations and key insights derived from interviews with industry professionals. You can read the full report here.

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