ED 1 / Affordable Housing Streamlining Ordinance

Without some guardrails in place, this well-intended policy could irreparably damage L.A.’s older and historic neighborhoods.


Voice your support for both affordable housing and preserving L.A.’s historic neighborhoods.

Issue Details


Development Approval Process

Awaiting review by the City Council's Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee.


Los Angeles City Mayor Bass’ Executive Directive 1 (ED 1) was established in late 2022 to streamline 100% affordable housing production throughout L.A. Now, it is in the process of being codified the Affordable Housing Streamlining Ordinance.

Without some guardrails in place, however, this well-intended policy could irreparably damage L.A.’s older and historic neighborhoods, notably within historic preservation overlay zones (HPOZ) and National Register historic districts, as well as eligible historic neighborhoods with high concentrations of existing multi-family housing. L.A.’s older and historic neighborhoods have highs concentration of existing affordable housing, known as naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH). 

The Conservancy supports the creation of 100% affordable housing and streamlining, but ED 1, as currently envisioned, will displace existing residents of NOAH housing and adversely impact HPOZs and National Register historic districts.

About This Issue

ED 1 applies to all proposed shelter and 100% affordable housing projects in areas zoned for multifamily housing. Affordable housing is defined as a five or more unit multi-family project with units accessible for residents making 80% of Area Median Income (AMI) or lower, or with 20% of units for residents at 120% AMI with an average of 80% AMI or lower.

ED 1 expedites projects through streamlining enhancements, shortened review periods at all stages of the City Planning project review process, and reduced filing fees. ED 1 projects don’t require discretionary review, meaning there is no public comment process.

This includes development in National Register Districts and HPOZs. Currently, development for contributing, non-contributing buildings, and vacant lots in HPOZs require planning and design review to ensure new development is compatible with the historic neighborhood. ED 1 and the Affordable Housing Streamlining Ordinance bypass this review for non-contributors and vacant lots.

These policies are also being incorporated in the Citywide Housing Incentive Program‘s Affordable Housing Overlay.

Our Position

Affordable housing can be added and existing NOAH maintained, yet without tools and guardrails for planning and preservation, ED 1 is missing an essential ingredient. Otherwise, neighborhoods and existing tenants will be impacted by demolition and out-of-scale, incompatible new development.

Given nearly 40% of all housing in L.A.’s 35 HPOZs are multi-family apartments with five or more units, ED 1 puts apartments that are classified as non-contributing at risk of demolition for new housing. Further, this bypasses the design review process intended to keep HPOZ and National Register neighborhoods intact and hold together, in terms of overall physical compatibility.

There needs to be balance. Neighborhood and HPOZ advocates are asking that ED 1 policy guidance protect HPOZs and National Register historic districts– in their entirety– by not overriding existing, long-standing planning and design review tools.

How You Can Help

Contact your councilmember by visiting this link.

ONE: Enter your address to access a list of your civic representatives, including your L.A. City Councilmember.

TWO: Click on your Councilmember’s email icon and send them a message urging them to add guardrails to Executive Director 1 that make way for affordable housing but also protect L.A.’s historic neighborhoods.

THREE: Submit comments for the official record, through the City Clerk portal, using Council File cf 23-0623. You can access the portal here