High cost of living drives satisfaction in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The high cost of housing is the number one thing people don't love about L.A. -- but what we like may be surprising. Zev Yaroslavsky talked about his UCLA-Luskin Quality of Life survey on Eyewitness Newsmakers.

Yaroslavsky is a five-term L.A. County supervisor, and before that, an L.A. City councilmember. After nearly 40 years in public life, he is director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA's Luskin School of Public Affairs.

The high cost of living ranks at the bottom of the fourth annual survey, while healthcare is at the top.

"I think it'll be a surprise to a lot of people, healthcare ranks number one or number two in satisfaction in the county. All but 4% of the people we surveyed has some form of insurance," Yaroslavsky said.

Yaroslavsky opposes the controversial state measure, SB-50, which has been shelved for now. It would allow apartments in single family neighborhoods. Yaroslavsky said most people don't like SB-50-both homeowners and renters. The survey showed the majority in both groups favored new apartments where they are zoned and not in single family neighborhoods.

"There's not one way to solve the housing problem. It would not solve the affordable issue. It would create more market rate housing and probably drive out affordable housing. So many live near bus corridors near low and middle income communities," he said.

"The housing crisis in LA is an affordable housing crisis. If you have enough money for three or four thousand in rent, no problem. But, if you're 0 to 30 thousand, you're in trouble," he added.

Most L.A. residents own cars, and they're not planning on giving them up any time soon, according to the survey.

Plans for affordable housing decrease parking spaces. Yaroslavsky said his UCLA-Luskin survey showed 93% of us own cars and 88% plan to own a car in five years.

"It's an experiment, and in my view, you don't experiment with existential issues. In most communities where there's reduced parking, you still have people who own cars," he said.

For a brief overview on the Luskin Quality of Life Index, click here.
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