Theses Master's

Assessing the intersection of land use and economic development policies in the development of housing in Los Angeles

Gourdikian, Nareg Raffi

Cities across the United States are facing seemingly insurmountable affordable housing deficits; leaving many rent-burdened and in part, perpetuating the prevalent issue of homelessness. With over 10% of the country's homeless population living in LA County, it is undeniable that this issue is persistent and pervasive in urban areas like LA, therefore calling for a multifaceted and sustainable solution, largely focused on the development of affordable housing. In this thesis I assess the effectiveness of Transit Oriented Communities and Opportunity Zones as two major place-based policies that have the potential to contribute to meeting the housing need for the city of Los Angeles. More specifically, my investigation aims to determine whether or not the current land use in LA City can accommodate the new development necessary to meet the city's housing need under both place-based policies. This study attempts to 1) calculate the number of homes that could theoretically be built using as of right zoning and Transit Oriented Communities base incentives; 2) understand the socio-economic characteristics of the communities within the areas identified; and 3) recommend a set of policies that would rectify the affordability shortfalls and alleviate the land-use restrictions in the existing planning framework. My assessment found that the existing land use framework can only accommodate 266,852 units of the needed 463,682 and that Opportunity Zone tracts are the most disadvantaged in the region.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Woodward, Douglas
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
January 14, 2020