Can the Olympics Solve the Los Angeles Housing Shortage? – NMP Skip to main content

Can the Olympics Solve the Los Angeles Housing Shortage?

Phil Hall
Oct 26, 2015
Would hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics help to ease the housing shortage bedeviling Los Angeles?

Would hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics help to ease the housing shortage bedeviling Los Angeles? The answer, it seems, depends on who is being asked.

According to a KABC report, the question of housing and the 2024 Summer Olympics brought two very different answers during the L.A. Housing Summit held at UCLA on Friday. According to Casey Wasserman, chairman of the LA24 committee, the creation of a new Olympic Village to house the international competitors would be a godsend for a market where housing—especially affordable options—is increasingly scarce.

"The Olympic Village is a significant legacy opportunity for our city after the games," Wasserman said. "The village would have 17,000 beds for the athletes, coaches and staff, which would then be converted into 5,000 units of both affordable and market rate housing."

However, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti seemed to bristle at the notion of the Olympics saving the day. Garcetti insisted that thousands of affordable and market value housing units are now being built, with a goal to create 100,000 new housing units by 2021.

"We've issued 29,750 construction permits for new housing units since I announced that 100,000-unit goal, putting us on track to meet that 100,000-unit goal by 2021, and a full 37,000 units have been entitled and are in the pipeline already," Garcetti said.

Los Angeles, which hosted the Summer Olympics in 1932 and 1984, became the U.S. candidate for hosting the 2024 event after Boston backed out due to financial concerns relating to hosting the games. The International Olympic Committee will announce the host of the 2024 games in September 2017; in addition to Los Angeles, other cities in competition for the event are Paris, Rome, Hamburg and Budapest.

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