Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday announced that the city has issued permits for 40,800 new housing units since he took office in July 2013, putting the city ahead of his target for 100,000 new units permitted by mid-2021.

Speaking at the Building Industry Association of Southern California’s annual housing conference at the Autry Museum of the American West in Griffith Park, Garcetti said he has made new housing permits a top priority of his administration.

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“Angelenos everywhere are feeling the pinch of a tight housing market - that’s why I committed to getting more housing built across our city as quickly as possible,” Garcetti said. “We are making strong progress, but the job is far from finished. We have to continue to think creatively, and use every available tool to ease the pressure on our housing market. We cannot rest until all Angelenos have access to homes they can afford to rent or own.”

Garcetti said new revenue sources for housing, such as the $1.2 billion bond measure set for the November ballot, and his proposed affordable housing linkage fee, would help to meet his target of 100,000 new units permitted by 2021.

Those plans could be partially derailed if voters approve the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative planned for the March 2017 ballot. The measure would place a two-year moratorium on most major development projects in the city. While the initiative would not block all projects, it would likely slow the pace considerably for issuing permits for new housing units.

Backers of that initiative on Wednesday submitted nearly twice the number of required signatures to qualify the measure for that ballot.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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