‘Gimme Shelter’: Should L.A.’s golf courses become affordable housing?

A man holds a golf club as uninterested Canada geese feed nearby.
A golfer takes a shot this spring at Balboa Golf Course in Van Nuys.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

About 2,300 acres of land in Los Angeles County are dedicated to publicly owned golf courses. With so much space reserved for golf and so much need for affordable housing in L.A., state lawmakers are asking if some of those courses should be turned into homes.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we chat about the value of public golf courses in cities compared to housing. And we have a broader discussion about the influence that small but impassioned supporters of a sport, hobby or neighborhood interest have on where housing gets built.

Our guest is Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), the author of a new bill, AB 1910, that would dedicate state funding to convert golf courses to housing.


Gimme Shelter,” a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Manuela Tobías, housing reporter for CalMatters.

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