U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact
Maps for Los Angeles


The city of Los Angeles, with a population estimated at 3.6 million as of January 1994, is the largest city in Southern California (470 miles) and is the center of a metropolitan area with a population greater than 8 million people. First settled under Spanish rule in 1781, Los Angeles became an incorporated city in 1850. In the 1870s and 1880s, railroads reached Los Angeles and connected Southern California with the rest of the Nation. Oil was discovered in the region in the 1890s. In this century, the Los Angeles area became a major industrial center, with strong aerospace and defense industries, and became the world capital for the television and motion picture businesses.

Action Plan

In the Consolidated Plan, Los Angeles describes its housing and community development needs and priorities, as well as a 5-year strategy for addressing these needs using Federal and other resources. For the first year of the plan, Los Angeles is requesting: $96.7 million in Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, $29.6 million in HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funding, and $9.7 million from the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program. The city also has applied for a $2.9 million Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG). This money will be used to finance the 332 housing, community development, and public service activities planned for Fiscal Year 1995–1996.

Citizen Participation

In the past 2 years, Los Angeles has had extensive public discussion on housing, economic, and community development needs. Information gathered in preparation for submissions of Empowerment Zone and Enterprise Community applications was incorporated into the city's Consolidated Plan.

Eight advertised public meetings regarding the Consolidated Plan were held between October 12 and October 21, 1994, to provide citizens with the opportunity to discuss their views and needs. Citizen comments on the draft plan were solicited at two meetings on April 25 and 26, 1995. Copies of the draft plan were made available in 18 regional libraries and in the city Community Development and Housing departments. A notice published in a number of newspapers on April 12 invited the public to review the plan. The draft plan was also discussed with four citizen bodies who have responsibility for different programmatic projects of the Consolidated Plan.


The city of Los Angeles, located on a coastal plain between the San Gabriel Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, has an area of 470 square miles.

Los Angeles has long served as the economic engine that pulled southern California to an ever higher standard of living. However, in the late 1980s, structural changes in the economy and other events combined to undermine the general prosperity. Defense spending cuts and other Federal decisions caused huge reductions in aerospace and defense manufacturing jobs. Concurrently other States lured business away with tax concessions and more favorable business environments. Since 1990 at least 300 firms employing 53,000 people have relocated from the Los Angeles area to other States. Overall, including losses from business downsizings and failures, Los Angeles County has lost 530,000 jobs since 1990.

Civil disturbances in 1992 further aggravated the city's business and community problems. Despite Federal and State assistance, 50 percent of the business destroyed during the riots have not reopened, resulting in lost jobs and further economic dislocations. The January 1994 Northridge earthquake also caused severe problems, seriously damaging over 4,700 homes, hundreds of commercial buildings, and much infrastructure.

Despite these setbacks, the population of Los Angeles has continued to grow. According to the 1990 census, the city had 3,485,398 residents. By January 1994 the population had increased by 4 percent, to a total of 3,620,500.

In 1990 median family income (MFI) for the Los Angeles–Long Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was $45,200. Of the 1,219,770 households in Los Angeles in 1990, 48 percent were considered low-income because their annual incomes were 80 percent or less of MFI. Census data show the following levels of low- and moderate-income households:

The racial and ethnic makeup of Los Angeles, according to the 1990 census, was:



Los Angeles is largely "built out," yielding high land prices because the supply of developable land is shrinking. The demand for housing exceeds the supply, and over 20 percent of the city's households live in overcrowded conditions. Most of the households in Los Angeles cannot afford homeownership, because the price of homes is incompatible with income levels.

Housing Needs

Between 1990 and the beginning of 1994, Los Angeles had a population growth of 135,102 persons. This increase, representing both migration from outside the city and new births, added the equivalent of 29,600 households. However, during that same period, only 18,531 new housing units were added to the city's housing stock. With overcrowding already at critical levels, there is a need for more housing units, especially affordable housing for lower income households.

The Northridge earthquake of January 1994 had a major impact on the supply and condition of housing in Los Angeles, affecting more than 330,000 units. Repairing homes and apartments will take at least another 2 years.

Housing Market Conditions

The city's stock of year-round housing units was 1,299,963 in 1990. Of the 1,217,405 occupied units, 737,661 were occupied by renters, and 479,744 were occupied by owners. Of the 82,558 vacant units, 53,617 were for rent, and 8,585 were for sale.

High-growth Los Angeles of the 1980s was characterized by a fast growing population and a housing market that could not keep pace. An 11,000-unit shortfall between supply and demand inflated rental rates and home prices, forced many households to spend too much of their income on housing, and increased overcrowding and homelessness. Homeownership became an impossible dream for most working households.

Although the city's population grew by 18 percent between 1980 and 1990, total occupied housing units increased by only 8 percent. Average household size grew modestly, from 2.6 persons per household in 1980 to 2.8 in 1990. However, 22.3 percent of all Los Angeles households were overcrowded in 1990, versus 12.9 percent in 1980. The 1990 census reported that 15.7 percent of Los Angeles households suffered from severe overcrowding, versus 7.7 percent in 1980.

Since 1990 recession-related job losses have slowed population growth and relieved the pressures caused by an insufficient supply of housing. However, incomes have dropped. A 1994 city housing study found that incomes of renter households declined an average of $10,000 since 1990.

Even though rent rates virtually doubled between 1980 and 1990, they continue to rise. In June 1990 the median rent for a vacant apartment was $600 per month. By June 1993 it had increased to $685.

The median price for existing single-family homes fell from $212,130 in 1990 to $183,000 in late-1994. According to the California Association of Realtors, 80 percent of Los Angeles households could not afford a median-priced home in 1991. Although that figure declined to 64 percent by 1995, most households are still priced out of ownership.

Therefore, more multifamily housing is being constructed than single-family housing. Between 1977 and 1993, building permits were issued for 194,200 multifamily units but only 30,100 single-family units.

Many single-family homes that were once occupied by owners are now occupied by renters. Citywide, 22 percent of single-family homes are absentee-owned. In low-income areas, such as South Central and East Los Angeles, the rate is 40-50 percent.

Affordable Housing Needs

Since 1990 rent rates in Los Angeles have eased. However, while rents are dropping, the percentage of family income paid for rent has reached a historic high.

Over 42 percent of all households in the city are cost-burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their gross income for their housing expenses, including utilities. Over 119,000 extremely low-income households (0-30 percent of MFI) are severely cost-burdened, paying more than 50 percent of their income for housing expenses, and three-quarters of them are renters.

Homeless Needs

Because of the housing shortage, many garages have been converted to what is often substandard living quarters. It is estimated that over 42,000 families live in converted garages. Other persons are homeless because they are unable to find any housing they can afford.

The annual unduplicated number of homeless people within the city of Los Angeles is estimated between 17,200 and 42,600. Individuals shift into and out of homelessness, and one estimate of the annual cumulative number of homeless persons in the city is 90,500. Data from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services indicate that 42 percent of the homeless families and 52 percent of the homeless individuals in the county are located within the city of Los Angeles. This suggests that the city has 7,809 homeless families with 21,297 family members, including 14,847 children.

Only an estimated 14 percent of the city's homeless sleep in emergency shelters or live in transitional housing. Large numbers of the homeless are unsheltered, living on the streets, in parks, in abandoned buildings, or in encampments. Surveys of homeless persons living on the streets suggest the following profile:

Subpopulations of the homeless with special needs are estimated as follows:

There is a need for emergency shelter beds for homeless youth, the mentally ill, and persons with AIDS. There is also a need for transitional housing programs that offer social services and support to help homeless persons and families stabilize their housing and economic situations.

Experts estimate that between one-third and one-half of the homeless are mentally ill. The city has only 106 short-term shelter beds for severely mentally ill persons. Jails have become last resort housing for the mentally ill. On any given day in Los Angeles County, as many as 3,300 people with serious mental illness are in the county's jails, comprising almost 16 percent of the inmate population. This segment of the homeless population desperately needs shelter and housing.

Social service agencies estimate that there are 10,000 to 12,000 unaccompanied homeless youth in Los Angeles. There are only 164 shelter beds to serve this population, and services available for adults usually are not appropriate for or do not serve this group. There is a need for low-cost or no-cost housing to take these young people off the street.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The Housing Authority of Los Angeles owns and/or operates over 10,300 housing units. Of these, 8,761 are conventional public housing units for seniors or families, located at sites ranging from 2 units to 1,057 units.

There are 59,179 units in 1,282 privately owned housing developments that have received funding from Federal, State, or local sources for new construction or rehabilitation. Of these, 38,040 units have restrictions on rent levels in order to make the housing affordable to lower income households. The affordability restrictions on about 16,000 of these units may expire by June 30, 2001.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

In Los Angeles, factors that lead to increased (or excessive) housing costs include:

Fair Housing

The city presently funds the Southern California Fair Housing Congress, which subcontracts to four local fair housing councils in Los Angeles. Services provided include: information and public education, counseling, conciliation, referral and follow-up for compliance, and proactive testing for fair housing compliance.

Lead-Based Paint

Although residential use of lead-based paint was banned in 1979, use of paints containing lead had already declined somewhat because easier-to-use substitutes were becoming readily available. Based upon the age of the city's housing, an estimated 774,000 units are likely to contain lead-based paint.

The oldest units, which have the highest likelihood of lead concentrations, are located in low-income areas of the city. These communities have high proportions of families with young children and predominately minority populations. All rehabilitation projects supported with Federal funds must be inspected for lead-based paint, and hazards must be abated as necessary.

Other Issues

There are also housing and supportive needs for the elderly, the mentally disabled, the mentally ill, the physically disabled, substance abusers, and victims of domestic violence. In general the needs of each group are similar in terms of affordable and accessible housing but differ somewhat in the mix of appropriate supportive services.

The nonhomeless special needs population of Los Angeles includes:

Community Development Needs

Los Angeles submitted applications for five lower income neighborhoods for designation as Empowerment Zones or Enterprise Communities. These neighborhoods have a total population of about 1,000,000 people. Within the nominated areas, 35 percent of the population lives at or below poverty level. Over half the census tracts in this 100 square mile area have higher percentages of poverty level residents; in one zone, 10 percent of the tracts have poverty rates over 50 percent. One Supplemental Empowerment Zone was designated and one are received designation as an Enterprise Community. Three areas did not receive designation.

Poverty, youth living in poverty, unemployment, and youth unemployment are problems that need to be addressed.

For numerous reasons, including but not limited to the riots of 1992 and the 1994 earthquake, Los Angeles County (including the city) has lost 500,000 jobs since 1990. There is a need to reverse this trend and to promote business and job growth.

When owners of local businesses reside outside the community, residents of the community do not benefit financially from those businesses. There is a need to encourage local ownership of businesses and property as a means of creating income and independence for residents. Another need is to promote family self-sufficiency by providing education, job training and employment, and income management skills that help "hard-to-employ" persons and those on public assistance to become self-supporting citizens.

Economic development needs also include: revitalizing commercial areas, industrial buildings, and infrastructure; providing technical assistance to new and nascent businesses; and providing entrepreneurial skills training for lower income individuals with business ownership ambitions.

Other community development needs include: rehabilitating public facilities damaged in the 1994 earthquake, completing modifications needed to bring city facilities into compliance with handicapped accessibility standards, and developing community service centers that distribute basic and emergency services from central locations in lower income neighborhoods.


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

The 5-year Consolidated Plan sets forth the city's housing, homeless, community, and economic development strategies intended to respond to those issues identified in the needs assessment portion of the plan.

Housing Priorities

The 5-year strategy includes four priority areas for housing and homelessness:

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

Los Angeles has designated the following seven priority areas for economic and community development:

Antipoverty Strategy

Education, vocational training, and job placement are the recommended strategies for fighting poverty. However, despite full-time work, many families remain in poverty because of low wage levels. For these families housing subsidies that reduce the amount of income they spend on rent are effective and necessary to combat dire poverty. Los Angeles funds programs that address both sides of the income-expenditure equation, such as job training programs and housing subsidies.

Both Federal and State governments are requiring or promoting a family self-sufficiency (FSS) program, which has been the California Department of Education's statewide priority for 1995. The program attempts to guide poor families out of the cycle of public assistance, both emotional and financial, by promoting lifestyle changes that facilitate self-sufficiency.

Another facet of the city's antipoverty strategy is to link housing development to employment opportunities for neighborhood residents whenever possible. Funds used for new construction and rehabilitation are linked directly to providing new jobs.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The basic financial resources needed to implement the 5-year plan include CDBG, HOME, HOPWA, and ESG funding. In 1995 $154 million has been allocated, including $14 million in income from several housing, rehabilitation, small business, and related loan programs; and $260,121 in unobligated prior year funds. Los Angeles anticipates that similar levels of CDBG, HOME, HOPWA, and ESG funding will be available in the remaining years of this Consolidated Plan.

Other resources available to help Los Angeles implement its housing and community development strategies include: Federal programs and grants, such as earthquake recovery and post-civil-unrest funds; economic development grants; HOPE urban revitalization money; drug elimination grants; and Enterprise Community and Empowerment Zone awards.

Numerous entities contribute positively to the city's community development efforts. These entities include nonprofit groups and private-sector organizations, such as: housing and social services providers; housing and community development agencies; lenders; tenant associations; trade groups; and various planning and coordinating organizations.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The Los Angeles Affordable Housing Commission was formed in 1990 principally to address the poor coordination among the city's multiple housing agencies. Representatives of the following agencies regularly report to the Affordable Housing Commission: the Los Angeles Housing Department, Community Development Department, Community Redevelopment Agency, Department of Building and Safety, and Planning Department. The Commission has extended its outreach efforts beyond city departments to include: the private and nonprofit development sector, tenants of rent-stabilized buildings, and members of the community at large.


Description of Key Projects

For the 1995–1996 program year, Los Angeles plans to use $154 million in CDBG, HOME, ESG, and program income funds for 341 planned activities that address specific housing, community development, and human services needs.

For housing activities the allocation is $86.8 million. HOME funds of $30.6 million will be used in conjunction with CDBG housing money for several programs, including:

Allocations from CDBG funds include:

HOPWA funds totaling $9.7 million are allocated for housing and support services for people with HIV/AIDS. Efforts include construction or renovation of affordable housing, rental assistance, supportive services, and information and referral services.

An Emergency Shelter Grant totaling $3 million will allocate $582,877 to assist existing shelters and organizations that provide supportive services to the homeless. Another $2.3 million is set-aside for homeless projects still to be decided.


Activities funded by this year's Action Plan will be implemented at thousands of housing units and over 150 program sites in the city's lower income neighborhoods.

Lead Agencies

The city has not yet designated a lead agency to manage the coordination and implementation of the Consolidated Plan. As an interim measure, the Mayor has appointed the Office of the City Administrative Officer to oversee and coordinate the plan development process. This office, which is not staffed to perform full coordination, has relied on staff from other departments for the majority of plan development and coordination work. These departments include the Program Support Division of the Community Development Department, and from the Policy Unit of the Housing Department.

Housing Goals

Housing activities included in this year's Action Plan are expected to construct, repair, or rehabilitate 4,447 housing units.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Los Angeles' Consolidated Plan, please contact Barbara Martinoff, Senior Management Analyst, at 213-485-8946.
Return to California's Consolidated Plans.