Crafting Mi Casa: Lessons of Latino Informal Housing Practice in Los Angeles

APA California Chapter

#9107473

Saturday, October 22, 2016
2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.50

Add to My Log

Overview

Latino homeowners renovate their homes based on imagination, needs, and know-how -- sometimes without proper permits. This cultural practice has been happening for decades, producing some of the most innovative housing typologies and construction practices, and redefining the basic dwelling unit in Los Angeles. Despite its ingenuity, Latino informal housing development runs into considerable urban planning obstacles. Rigid municipal codes imbued with middle class values render informal units illegal. Rising numbers of tragedies resulting from fires in substandard garage conversions underscore legitimate safety concerns. NIMBYism stifles efforts to build accessory units in Single-Family Residential zones. And in the midst of an acute housing crisis, restrictive zoning and land use laws both discourage and obstruct opportunities to build legally in communities. Planners can learn a lot from the lessons of Latino informal housing practice. This panel will examine the visual, spatial, policy, and regulatory implications Latino informal housing practice has in planning multicultural Los Angeles County.