The mayor's plan is called "Housing That Works" and is afive-year program to "make Los Angeles a more affordable place ofmiddle class families to live and work," according to the mayor'sannouncement last week. The plan call for the city to invest $200million a year for five years from a number of sources—augmented bya commitment of $700 million over five years from EnterpriseCommunity Partners, a Columbia, MD-based nonprofit with 25 years ofexperience in the community development and affordable housingfield. With leverage, the city's commitment alone would produce $5billion worth of housing, according to the mayor's proposal.

Ernesto Vasquez, a partner with the Irvine-based MVE &Partners architecture firm, suggests that transit villages likethose envisioned in the mayor's plan can be designed to attractpeople out of Downtown to enjoy night life or weekend jaunts. Hepoints out that the Gold Line has the potential to "become thegateway to East Los Angeles" and draw people to developments alongthe way. "It is a mistake to think about traffic just goingDowntown. There is a large population downtown that could travelout as well," Vasquez says.

"You want to create communities that thrive 18 hours a day,seven day a week," Vasquez continues. "To do that, you want anelement of retail, you want restaurants, you want some commercialspace. You want to create transit hubs that attract people."

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