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SoCal Plans To Build More Housing Near Jobs and Transit

Construction workers are seen atop a building of new apartments for sale in Alhambra on March 23, 2012. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
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Southern California city and county leaders have voted to adopt an eight-year regional housing plan after pushback from some local cities.

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) approved the plan that provides for 1.3 million new housing units across the region by 2029, meeting a requirement set by state housing officials. Each city is required to meet housing goals based on growth, access to transit and jobs.

The plan adds housing near job centers where there aren't enough homes now, says Oxnard Mayor Pro Tem, Carmen Ramírez, a SCAG representative for her area.

"There's not enough housing where the jobs are, and I think that that's a thing that we have to look at: a lot of people are commuting out of the Inland Empire to jobs in Orange County and Los Angeles County because they can afford housing there," she says.

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Longer commutes have a cost, increasing pollution, traffic conjestion and making life more stressful for individuals, Ramírez says.

In February, the city of Cerritos sent a letter to SCAG asking them to adjust the housing goals to be based more on household growth. Cerritos and other cities felt the current goals were unfair and that cities did not get enough input on how goals were calculated, but after some debate the plan was approved.