All The Above

Last year, the Hammer Museum mounted a series of engaging panels on a topic that to some might look like a fool’s errand: how to resolve LA’s housing crisis. The concluding, late fall discussion, moderated by KCRW’s Anna Scott, laid out the staggering array of forces lined up against bridging the city’s even more staggering gap in housing units. Perhaps the most obvious, pointed out by Hamid Behdad, president of local developer Central City Development, is that “LA is dysfunctional.” Behdad, who played a major role in the Downtown resurgence in the early 2000s, ticked off every one of the byzantine, often-conflicting regulations, plans, and legislative bodies that make getting anything accomplished here a near miracle. Fellow panelist Michael Lens, associate faculty director of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies at UCLA, pointed to continued resistance to density,from local NIMBYs up to recalcitrant city council members, while Yasmin Tong, founding principal of CTY Housing, a local affordable housing consultant, reminded the audience of the ridiculous capit…

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