LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The City Council has approved the creation of a team of planners to help the city fulfill a goal of building 100,000 new housing units by 2021 and handle other housing-related planning issues.

City leaders have said there is a “housing crisis” in the city, and at least 82,000 units will need to be built over the next five years. The city responded by setting a goal of building 100,000 units to address future demand and chip away at the historic deficit,” according to a staff report.

The five planner positions, which range from associate to senior levels, will form a “housing unit” in the city Planning Department.

Two of the planners will be responsible for meeting the goals of the 2013-2021 long-range housing plan adopted by the city, which includes a provision for addressing housing “concerns” and homelessness.

They will be tasked with revising the density bonus ordinance, crafting an affordable housing benefit fee ordinance and working on other regulations, such as city rules for short-term rentals, including those arranged through Airbnb, and accessory dwelling unit provisions.

Two additional planners will keep track of housing projects and the city’s progress toward reaching the 100,000 housing units by 2021 goal. A senior planner will be assigned to creating regulations to meet “sustainability” policies laid out in Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “pLAn,” through:

— revisions to the floor area ratio (FAR) for mixed-use zones in “targeted commercial corridors”;

— experimentation with transitional height zones at “transit nodes”;

— new regulation for second units and “granny flats”;

— implementation of “Build L.A.” and parallel design permitting processes;

— revisions to the density bonus rules and looking into “value-capture” strategies; and

— additional transit-oriented development such as expanding transit neighborhood plans and revising density bonus.

The cost of employing the five planners will be $150,000 for the rest of this fiscal year ending in June, and $408,019 for the upcoming fiscal year.

Councilman Jose Huizar, who chairs the Planning and Land Use Management Committee, said he was pleased by the prospect of the housing unit, which he feels is “very much needed to address the issues of region-wide housing needs and affordable housing at this time.”

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