This article reviews the post-World War II mass production of houses in Los Angeles and the roots of today’s housing shortage. Even with a high production rate, minorities and low-income Angelenos have experienced racial barriers and displacement. Today, L.A.’s homeless population is disproportionally Black, while home ownership is disproportionally white. The article concludes with four proposals for responding to today’s shortage of affordable and racially equitable housing.
Booming Then, Sputtering Now: Reinventing the “Housing Machine” for Today’s Housing Emergency
Michael Woo was the first trained urban planner and the first Asian American elected to the Los Angeles City Council. He is Dean Emeritus of the College of Environmental Design at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he taught a virtual seminar on “Housing Insecurity and Social Justice” in Spring 2021. He has also taught in USC’s Executive Master of Urban Planning program. This article is an expanded version of Woo’s presentation to the November 2020 colloquium organized by the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group.
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Michael Woo; Booming Then, Sputtering Now: Reinventing the “Housing Machine” for Today’s Housing Emergency. Southern California Quarterly 1 August 2021; 103 (3): 281–308. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/scq.2021.103.3.281
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