LA wants to make it easier to turn empty office buildings into housing

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Sears in Boyle Heights is one of many historic buildings that developers have proposed converting into affordable housing in recent years. Photo by Shutterstock.

Los Angeles is experiencing a severe housing shortage, but it’s far from short on real estate. Across the city, old commercial buildings and office spaces left vacant during the pandemic-induced work-from-home era are sitting empty or underused.

Now a proposed city ordinance wants to make it easier for developers to refurbish and repurpose those buildings, so they can be converted into desperately-needed housing stock.