04/20/2018

News

Why gas-fired power plants are on the chopping block in SoCal

NRG Energy announced last week it would close three gas-fired power plants: The Etiwanda plant in Ranch Cucamonga, the Ormond Beach plant in Oxnard and the Ellwood plant in Goleta. They were aging plants, built in the 1960s and ’70s. But plans for some new plants are also being sidelined. Last October, NRG asked the […]

Read More

LA’s economy is strong — but not for all workers

According to a new economic forecast released Wednesday by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), the region’s GDP is growing faster than the nation’s as a whole. Unemployment is below five percent and still declining. And economists project that solid overall growth will continue over the next two years. But for many workers, […]

Read More

Wages have gone up — but people still can’t afford rent

Southern California wages are rising but a new report from University of Southern California shows that’s not going to make rents more affordable in the long run.

The annual USC Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast found that rents will keep rising over the next two years because the supply of apartments is tight and not enough new housing is coming online.

In Los Angeles County, average monthly rents are expected to rise to $2,373 by 2019 — up $136 from the 2017 average.

Read More

California’s housing costs are driving its No. 1 poverty ranking

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show California has the country’s highest poverty rate, with nearly one in five residents facing economic hardship when factoring in living costs such as housing.

Read More

New state report card finds some local dams vulnerable

California safety regulators for the first time publicly posted safety ratings for the hundreds of dams under state jurisdiction on Friday, bowing to public pressure for more transparency after the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in Feburary. Eight percent of dams under jurisdiction of the Division of Safety of Dams have deficiencies that keep them from being rated satisfactory, which is state’s the highest rating. Eleven of 229 dams in Los Angeles and five surrounding counties show up on the state’s list with a rating of fair or poor.

Read More

House-rich, cash-poor: why these older LA homeowners are standing with Airbnb

Pollack found she could make enough extra income renting out a bedroom and her pool house so that she could keep paying the mortgage on her Sherman Oaks home. And she could still pursue acting and producing, even though work is harder to come by as a woman in her late 50s. “My greatest income of source is my home, and if I lose both of those – honestly, it’s not an option for me,” Pollack said. The unthinkable for home sharers has become a looming possibility as city officials move toward capping the number of days they can rent out a listing, part of a set of new rules proposed for a booming short-term rental industry. In Los Angeles, one of the world’s biggest tourist markets, Airbnb alone generates $670 million a year by the company’s count.

Read More

LA prepares for 600,000 applicants to subsidized housing program; only a fraction will get help

In yet another sign of L.A.’s growing poverty and lack of low-income housing, local officials are preparing for a torrent of applications when they open up the wait list for federal housing aid later this year.

The city stopped taking applications for Section 8 housing over a decade ago because there were too many people already waiting for the limited rental assistance vouchers.

Last time L.A.’s waitlist opened, in 2004, about 300,000 people applied. When the process opens for a two-week window this year, officials are expecting at least twice that number. As a result, only a fraction of people who apply will make the cut.

Read More

California’s poorest may finally be feeling rising economy

Applications for cash welfare reached their lowest point in at least six years in 2016, which economists say might indicate California’s poorest are finally feeling the effects of an improving economy.

Read More

How the gig economy has grown in Southern California

Employment in Southern California’s so-called “gig economy” – workers who drive for Uber or Lyft, or run errands for the app Task Rabbit, for example – more than doubled between 2012 and 2014.

Read More

Get ready to save energy like you save water

Citing the threat of brown-outs this summer, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors urged Southern California residents to conserve electricity this summer and be prepared for possible 100-degree days without air conditioning.

Read More

Gov. Brown opts for policy changes, not funding, to boost affordable housing

“It is counterproductive to continue providing funding for housing under a system which slows down approvals in areas already vetted and zoned for housing, which only delays development and increases costs,” the revised budget states.

Read More

How California home prices got sky-high

The developments that do get built take years to get through the red tape. In the meantime, more people need homes. The population of Los Angeles topped 4 million for the first time last year.  Historically-low interest rates are motivating more people to buy. But inventory is low, as baby boomers stay in their homes longer.

Read More

Ahead of $15 minimum wage, 1 company leaves California for Texas

He says his employees make on average a little less than $15 an hour now – so he would have to give them all a big raise. He said he can’t afford to do that because his company is locked into long-term contracts with customers where the price is already set.

Read More

How aerospace is making a comeback in Southern California

Since 1990, the number of people working in aerospace in Southern California has more than been chopped in half. When the Cold War was winding down, there were more than 270,000 local aerospace workers, according to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. In 2014, there were 85,500 in 2014. It’s a big reason why ever since, the region has had some of the weakest job growth in the entire country.

Read More

California hands out $70.5 million in job tax credits, including $12.7 million for electric cars

A California economic development board handed out $70.5 million in tax credits on Thursday for private companies promising to create jobs in the state, including $12.7 million for electric car-maker Faraday Future, which broke ground a day earlier on a new manufacturing facility in neighboring Nevada.

Read More