Three students walk across the parking lot on the UCLA campus in front of Royce Hall

Monkkonen on UCLA as a Model for Affordable Housing

Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy Paavo Monkkonen spoke to Curbed about UCLA’s new guaranteed student housing plan. UCLA is the first University of California school to offer four years of housing for first-year students and two years of housing for transfer students. Meanwhile, the city of L.A. continues to struggle to produce affordable housing. According to Monkkonen, the biggest lesson to be learned from UCLA is the power of consolidating everything from planning to financing in one department and essentially becoming a public-housing developer. “UCLA develops its own land-use plan and then executes capital programs like the construction of dorms,” Monkkonen said. “Proactively planning for housing to be built rather than setting up rules and waiting to see if developers build or not is the kind of paradigm shift we need.” He also recommended expanding affordable housing closer to schools in order to benefit students, families, teachers and staff.

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