DWELL: Affordable Housing in Los Angeles

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Whether you rent or own in Los Angeles, the cost of living adds up. The median price of a home in Los Angeles has risen to $470,900 (to put into perspective, San Antonio registers a $122,500 median home value, while San Franciscan's somehow survive in a market where the average home is $656,700). Los Angeles and Orange counties are the most expensive western rental markets, with an average monthly cost of $1,546.

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The term "affordable housing" in Los Angeles is a bit of a misnomer. Advocating housing availability for household incomes of $33,000 or less is both dire and mostly an ignored issue, even with the highest concentration of low-income households in the nation.

So, it comes as a welcome surprise to see the current issue of Dwell focuses on the efforts of a few modern Los Angeles architects that are attempting to bring affordable housing, at affordable costs, with innovative features to the countless of Angelenos who would normally never even consider the issue of "architecture" in their housing choices. Four current and proposed developments are highlighted: the Kanner Architects' Metro Hollywood Transit Village, Fung + Blatt Architects' CityHoodHome, Killefer Flammanh Architects' Havenhurt Apartments, Pugh + Scarpa Architects' Colorado Court, and the Koning Eizenberg Architecture designed Abbey Apartments (a housing proposal that will house 115 formerly homeless citizens of Skid Row). A good start, a good read, and an important topic worth discussion.