L.A. developers grapple with affordable-housing measure passed by wide margin

L.A. developers grapple with affordable-housing measure passed by wide margin

Organized labor and tenant groups won a victory Tuesday when Angelenos overwhelming approved Measure JJJ, a ballot initiative that imposed hiring and affordable housing requirements on developments that get exemptions from key city planning rules.

The measure, which passed with nearly 64% of the vote, was pitched by its backers as a way to add more affordable housing in an expensive city undergoing a development boom.

Opponents, led by development interests, argued the proposed regulations, however well-meaning, would have the unintended consequence of reducing housing production and worsening the affordability crisis. In particular, they raised concerns over the effect on small developments, because those projects often don’t command the higher rent of larger ones, which often already use more expensive union labor.

Now that the measure has passed, developers have shifted from fighting the initiative to looking more closely at how the rules will affect their ability to build in Los Angeles, where city planning rules are widely considered to be outdated and many projects receive the types of exemptions JJJ targets.

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