Free Virtual LAPHG Colloquium – November 14th, 2020

Los Angeles’ Housing Crisis: Not the First Time 

Presented by the Los Angeles Planning History Group (LAPHG) in association with The Huntington Library will present a FREE video conference

 Saturday, November 14, 2020, 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 

Register at the following link:

The Los Angeles Planning History Group is pleased to present Colloquium XVI which is designed to learn from the past and apply its lessons to future housing policy. The heart of the colloquium will engage you in a facilitated discussion of strategies and policy recommendations for addressing the LA housing crisis both current and future. 

The region’s first major housing crisis came during the Great Depression, reflecting both the rapid industrial build-up for war and the crush of returning G.I.s from World War II. Explore the root causes of the present housing crisis that go back the turn of the 20th Century. What threads, broad trends and lessons from past housing crises can we study and apply to address the present housing crisis? 

  • What are the real-world impacts of the State’s past housing policies on the region? 
  • How has the region balanced top down planning with local control in a world of NIMBY’s and YIMBY’s? 
  • What’s the historic role of economics and changing consumer preferences? 
  • Is building more housing supply linked to affordability? 
  • What was the historic role of non-profit affordable housing developers in the region and will they survive without incentives? 
  • Have past transit-oriented developments really worked in the land of the automobile? 
  • What mistakes did planners make in housing policy that damaged the quality of life in this region? 
  • Can we avoid repeating the mistakes of the past? 

We are excited to present LAPHG’s first Zoom Colloquium. Please note that we will be recording the entire Colloquium for the organization’s website. 

View Colloquium Speakers

Los Angeles Planning History Group Colloquium XVI Agenda

Marsha Rood, FAICP, President 
Los Angeles Planning History Group* 

Brief overview of the divergence of housing (social) and planning (physical) in 1909 and its long-term effects. 

In addition, the following recognitions will be presented: 

  • • Honoring Allyn Rifkin, LAPHG Colloquium, Cal Chapter American Planning Association Planning Landmark Award for the Los Angeles Centers Concepts Plan* 
  • • Honoring Steve Preston, FAICP, Retiring Board Member* 
  • • Honoring Alice Lepis, Retiring Board Member* 
  • • Honoring Stanley Hoffman, FAICP, former Board Member, Posthumously* 

Introduction of keynote speaker. 


The LA Housing Crisis: A Developer’s Historic Perspective 
Kenneth McCormick, CEO 
Mill Creek Development Company 

9:30 a.m. | Session One: The Root Causes of the Housing Crisis

Moderator: Ken Bernstein
Principal City Planner and Manager, Office of Historic Resources, City of Los Angeles*


  • Housing through the LA Lens – Rising Immigration as L.A. Comes of Age
    Liz Falletta, RA, MRED
    Professor (Teaching), Price School of Public Policy University of Southern California

    Ms. Falletta will discuss impacts of the Great Depression and World War II; the postwar years and the L. A. suburbs’ coming of age; Displacement of low-income residents by urban renewal/redevelopment.

  • The History of the State’s Affordable Housing Requirements
    Eric Phillips, J.D
    Mutual Housing California
    Mr. Phillips will discuss the history and impact of local and regional regulations as they relate to the ability of planners and developers to produce affordable housing.

  • Booming Then, Sputtering Now: The Legacy of the Southern California “Housing Machine”
    Michael Woo, Dean Emeritus, College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona

    Mr. Woo will explore the Southern California “regional housing machine”, the legacy of inequitable access to housing due to redlining, restrictive covenants, exclusionary zoning, and out-and-out discrimination, and the prospects for producing new housing with more equitable outcomes.

Questions and Answers with Panelists

10:45 a.m. |  Break and Break Out Room Discussions

11:00 a.m. | Session Two: Threads and Broad Trends: Lessons Learned from L.A.’s History 

Moderator: Mark Herwick, AICP
Supervising Regional Planner Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning*


  • The Economics and Demographics of Housing 
    Dowell Myers, Ph.D., Professor 
    Sol Price School of Public Policy 
    University of Southern California 

    Prof. Myers will discuss whether creating more housing leads to affordability; the impact of changing consumer preferences – the growth in home sizes; understanding the fiscal issues faced by cities; the importance of public infrastructure and municipal services necessary to support housing and to protect the quality of life; a brief history of government subsidies. 

  • The History and Impact of Non-Profit Housing Developers 
    Robin Hughes, President & CEO 
    Abode Communities 

    Ms. Hughes will address Federal, state, county, municipal and non-profit efforts to provide housing to provide affordable housing; the historic role of non-profit developers ; and the opportunities and challenges presented by YIMBYs and NIMBYs. 

  • Recent: Implementation of Housing Policies in the Real World
    Amy Bodek, AICP, Director 
    Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning 

    Ms. Bodek will share Los Angeles County’s experience with ADU’s – SB 35, as well as perspectives on transit-oriented development (TODs) and the role of neighborhood planning 

 Questions and Answers with Panelists 

12:15 p.m. | Lunch Break and Break Out Room Discussions

12:30 p.m. | Facilitated Discussion: Housing Futures

Facilitator: Clifford W. Graves, FAICP 
Urban Planning and Partnership Consultant 
Adjunct Professor on Public Policy at USC* 

What does our shared history of housing teach us that offers critical lessons to the state, region and local communities? What solutions can we share with our legislators, supervisors, and city councils? 

1:30 p.m. | Colloquium Summary and Conclusions

Ken Farfsing 
Former City Manager, City of Carson* 

* Designates member of Los Angeles Planning History Group Board. 

Special Thanks to Los Angeles County Division League of California Cities

For Assistance with the Zoom license, outreach, and communications for this event.

Special Thanks to Urban Insight

Thanks to Urban Insight for their assistance in creating LARPHG’s website.

Honoring Stanley R. Hoffman

In honor of our dearly departed Board Member, we are sharing the announcement of the Stanley R. Hoffman Fellowship in Urban Planning at the UCLA LUSKIN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

The Los Angeles Planning History Group is proud to publicize his family’s creation of the Stanley R. Hoffman scholarship fund for students majoring in urban planning at the UCLA LUSKIN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.  Stan was a highly valued Board member of LAPHG who contributed to urban planning throughout his career of economic analysis of development projects and planning districts in Southern California.

To make a donation, please contact Ricardo Quintero, Director of Development, UCLA LUSKIN SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS at  or call him at   252-714-0071

Register for Colloquium XVI

Attendees should register in advance for the Colloquium at this link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation e-mail containing information about joining the Colloquium. 


The Los Angeles Planning History Group (LAPHG), affiliated with The Huntington Library in San Marino, actively utilizes planning history in the Los Angeles region, including its individual cities, to guide those who are creating its future. LAPHG promotes the understanding and study of the region’s history through programs and conferences, the collection and preservation of major plans, oral and written histories and related documents in planning and related disciplines. Learn more about us, discover our activities, view video of our events, and donate to our programs, at 

This entry was posted in Colloquia. Bookmark the permalink.