Villaraigosa's Weirdly Timed Housing Plan

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Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 11:43 AM

On Monday, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa unveiled a $5 billion housing plan for the middle class and poor. Reaction to the plan was definitely mixed, and with good reason: According to the LA Times, "many City Council members and business and housing groups said they had not yet seen" it.

CityWatchLA.com has a good round up of the different responses to the mayor's effort to bring more affordable housing units to LA, and the LA Times mentions that Villaraigosa spoke with three economists last Friday who "assured" him the plan was solid...which begs the questions, Who are these economists? And why did they think the plan would work during these shaky economic times?

Los Angeles, however, does need affordable housing. That's a no-brainer. But there's something about this particular housing plan, and it's apparently clandestine creation, that doesn't smell right. Maybe it's Villaraigosa's pie-in-the-sky call to "reject the cynics" of the plan, which gives it the same kind of overly optimistic feel as the mayor's failed promise to plant 1 million trees in LA during his first four years in office. It's been more than three years since Villaraigosa unveiled that big project, and it's turned out to be a complete bust. This town's poor and middle class certainly don't need more empty promises.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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