• The Signal: Seniors express need for affordable housing to council

    Multiple Santa Clarita senior citizens confronted the city council Tuesday night during public comment with concern about the cost of living in the valley. Local senior Beverlee Broggie said she has been concerned about the price of her rent for about a year and wants to start a conversation among the community concerning affordable housing for seniors. “I would just like to open up a dialogue and talk about it,” Broggie said to The Signal. “I would just like to bring it to (the city council’s) attention and see if there is any kind of a solution.”

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  • KPCC: Developers bracing for mayor’s proposed affordable housing fee in LA

    43634 fullMayor Garcetti’s plan to raise millions of dollars for affordable housing in Los Angeles by charging a new fee on real estate development looks like a foregone conclusion, says the head of the area’s largest trade group for builders. “This one’s a freight train,” said Randy Johnson, president of the Los Angeles/Ventura chapter of the Building Industry Association. “The mayor really wants it and there’s no one on the City Council that is going to go against it that I know of.” The mayor, who first proposed the fee in fall of 2015 as a way to fund the much-needed production of below-market rate housing, brought up his proposal again in his State of the City address last week. Garcetti urged the City Council to pass the fee “and do it now.”

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  • NBC: Los Angeles County May Lose 14,000 Affordable Apartments

     Los Angeles County is at risk of losing 14,000 affordable rentals over the next five years as property owners begin to take advantage of the county’s prospering housing market, NBC4 media partner KPCC reports. As a condition to receive financing or permission to build, property owners priced their apartments at below-market rates for about 40 years. But as these agreements begin to expire, some property owners are looking to profit with the market values on the housing market. About 14,000 units across 232 buildings are at “high” or “very high” risk of being converted into market rates, according to the California Housing Partnership Corp. Matt Schwartz, the president of the housing nonprofit, told KPCC that “LA has more at stake than any other county” when it comes to losing affordable housing.

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  • Patch: LA Officials Enact New Affordable Housing Law

    LA Officials Enact New Affordable Housing LawLOS ANGELES, CA — Amid skyrocketing rents and a housing crisis, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday signed and praised a new law that aims to strengthen enforcement of the city’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The law will require landlords who demolish rent-controlled units under the Ellis Act to either replace them one-for-one with affordable units or make 20 percent of new units affordable, depending on which is higher. “We’re growing L.A.’s housing stock to meet our residents’ growing demand in every way possible — including strengthening our stock of rent stabilized housing. But we need to make sure that it is done in a way that’s fair to all Angelenos by protecting people from being priced out of communities where they have invested so much of their lives,” Garcetti said. “The law I signed today is a great step in the right direction.” The new law will also increase regulations of the Ellis Act, the law that allows landlords to evict residents as they seek to get out of the rental business.

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  • Construction Dive: CA state senator: More market-rate housing critical to fixing state’s affordability woes

    California State Sen. Scott Wiener called for legislators and activist groups to take a more favorable view of market-rate housing in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout the state, Curbed reported, saying that an affordable-or-nothing approach breeds unproductive hostility. To keep up with growth, the state needs 180,000 more housing units annually, he said, but it is building less than half of that figure. He adds that neither California cities nor the state at-large have the financial resources to meet that demand through affordable housing alone. Wiener points to strict zoning rules on high-density projects and cumbersome approvals processes as chief causes of the state’s low housing production levels. Critics of Wiener’s position say that more expensive — that is, market rate — housing will raise home prices and shut out those who can’t afford it.

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  • LA Times: L.A. stiffens rules for replacing rent-controlled units

    la-1492621087-hnj9fzwh5s-snap-imageLos Angeles lawmakers voted Wednesday to stiffen city rules surrounding the demolition of rent-controlled apartments, aiming to ensure that more affordable housing is built. But business groups have challenged whether the plan is fair — and whether it will stand up in court. Under a California law called the Ellis Act, landlords can eject tenants from rent-controlled apartments if they are tearing down a building or getting out of the rental business. In Los Angeles, if landlords tear down rent-controlled units and replace them with new rentals within five years, all of those new units fall under city rules that limit rent increases. There’s also an alternative for landlords who want to avoid putting an entire building under rent control: They must designate some of the new units as affordable housing.

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  • Streets Blog Cal: California Lawmakers Call for Affordable Housing Funding, Fewer Obstacles to Growth

    Bloom_Housing-PC-053-04-17-17A group of California Assemblymembers, including Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), gathered yesterday for a press conference to continue to the beat the drum for immediate and long-term action to address the state’s dire housing crisis. The nine lawmakers, including Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), were joined by Tameeka Knox, a housing advocate and a formerly homeless person currently living in supportive affordable housing, to call for a dedicated state funding source for affordable housing as well as state legislative action to reduce barriers to housing growth and protect renters from displacement.

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  • LA Times: A panel of 50 must suggest how to spend millions for L.A. County’s homeless. So far, they can’t agree.

    la-1492379302-exlrcxc37g-snap-imageAfter nine hours of deliberation, the panel of 50 that must recommend how L.A. County should spend $355 million a year of new homeless funds faced an existential reckoning. Either the group was too large, or the mission too daunting. But something had to give. The third of the panel’s four scheduled meetings ended last week with votes on whether to form a subcommittee to dig more deeply into the morass of competing interests — rejected — or to toss the quandary back to county executives for more guidance — approved. A carefully scripted plan to reach consensus on how to divide the money over 21 strategies, from better street outreach to more rental subsidies, quickly faltered under the complexity of funding sources, philosophical nuances and strong personalities.

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  • SacBee: There are 130 housing bills in the California Legislature. What will the state do?

    Restaurant workers, teachers, first responders – even doctors – are getting priced out of California, and home-ownership is beyond the reach of many, according to a nationwide housing survey from the real estate listing service Trulia. Trulia analyzed state and national housing trends comparing median salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to median home price. San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego ranked among the least affordable places across the state. In Sacramento, virtually no homes are affordable for restaurant workers, whose median annual income of roughly $24,000 per year compares to a median home listing price of $449,000. The percentage of homes available for service industry workers came in at about 1 percent. For teachers, roughly 32 percent of homes in Sacramento are considered affordable. Just over 42 percent of homes are considered affordable for first responders such as police officers and firefighters. For doctors, roughly 90 percent of homes are affordable.

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  • CBIA: AB 199 – Position Change

    Dear Partner in Opposing AB 199,

    Our sincerest thank you to all of you who joined our coalition opposing AB 199 and especially to all of you who showed up at committee.  Because of the strong showing from our industry and other key coalition members, we were able to get the attention of key legislators who brought the sponsors and CBIA to the table to encourage a compromise on the bill.

    Due to the recent amendments to AB 199 which were agreed to by CBIA, CBIA is withdrawing its opposition to the measure.  A copy of the coalition letter is attached.

    The amendments return the bill to existing code (eliminating the problematic reference to “political subdivisions”) and add “a successor agency to a redevelopment agency when acting in that capacity,” after redevelopment agency.  These amendments reflect the author’s and sponsor’s stated intent of the bill – to ensure that projects that had been approved by an RDA continue to pay prevailing wage.  Doing so addressed the concern that the bill was far more expansive, requiring nearly all private residential development to pay prevailing wage.

    While we are extremely pleased with these recent developments, please know that we plan to remain vigilant in watching this bill and others to ensure no further changes are made that would impact housing affordability.

    Again, thank you for your commitment to this issue.  We truly appreciate all your help!

    Erin Guerrero
    Vice President of Legislative Affairs, CBIA

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