Los Angeles, CA – Nearly 100 people turned out for a public hearing in South Los Angeles to discuss the future of affordable homes and livable neighborhoods.

The event was hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Housing L.A., and the topics covered included housing, foreclosure and transit oriented development.

Among the questions asked of participants was how would they define affordable housing? What communities should be subject to a proposed mixed-income housing ordinance, what should the income cut-off be and what is the minimum number of units that should come under such a proposal.

The mixed-income housing motion is currently being discussed in the L.A. City Housing and Economic Development Committee, and could be fashioned into a proposed ordinance within the next few months.

In 2004, proponents of setting guidelines for mixed-income housing development tried to push an ordinance through, but it died without ever reaching the city council floor. One of the key sticking points, according to city housing official Helmi Hisserich, was the assertion that implementing such an ordinance would increase the cost of developing housing in the city.

That same argument is apparently behind conversations to potentially exempt South Los Angeles from such an ordinance, noted Hisserich. There is a lot less market-rate housing development in South Los Angeles, and this potential legislation could further depress efforts to bring in such units.

But Hisserich said, how much, if anything could potentially be added to the cost of building housing in L.A. City will depend on just how the proposed ordinance is written.