The League has been active in efforts to secure and preserve affordable housing in the San Gabriel Valley area in support of the LWVC position; it has undertaken a number of activities, including:
On April 6, 2017, the League Day examined the holes in the safety net resulting from the Federal cutting of budgets for low income households.
Clarissa Woo Hermosillo is the ACLU’s Southern California director of policy advocacy and addresses important safety-net/public-benefit and health programs. Sharon Kinlaw is the Executive Director, Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley. She speaks about fair housing and civil rights concerns. Carmen Iguina is a staff attorney in the ACLU’s Southern California office and specializes in immigrants’ rights and police practices.
- In April 2015, the League Day focused on the lack of affordable housing in the city. A summary of the event from Michelle White is here.
League Day was devoted to learning the status of affordable housing in communities after the complete loss of state redevelopment funds and the severe reduction of federal affordable housing monies. Pansy Yee, Manager, LA County Community Development Commission; Steve Zovak, Director, Glendale Housing Department; and William Huang, Director, Pasadena Housing and Career Services Department, were the panelists. All agreed that the region is the midst of a perfect storm, with incomes having increased approximately 9 percent in the last few years, while rents have escalated 22 percent.
The video of the League Day event is here: Affordable Housing: Is There Life After Redevelopment?
- In March of 2014, an Affordable Housing discussion on League Day was devoted to a short recap on how commissions function within Pasadena, the conditions that dictate the need for a housing commission, how the commission would be configured and its proposed responsibilities, as well as why a commission is the preferable option to achieve equitable housing solutions in the city.
- On April 24, 2013, the League Day presentation considered Affordable Housing After The Redevelopment Era: What Now? (video)
It featured a presentation by Public Counsel’s Community Development attorney Anne Lanier Marquit and Pasadena Housing Department Director Bill Huang. Marquit outlined how the now moribund redevelopment agencies previously produced approximately $1 billion statewide annually to fund affordable housing. For various reasons, the state, which had expected a financial windfall, is reaping substantially less funding.Marquit described three legislative proposals designed to address the state’s affordable housing crisis:
SB 396, supported by the state League, would create $500 million annually from the collection of modest real estate transfer fees. League members signed petitions in support of SB 396, which the Advocacy Committee forwarded to the Senate Transportation Committee, in time for a hearing in early April.
SB1 would allow local governments to again collect tax increment funds—not based on whether a community is blighted but based on ecological sustainability standards. Last year a similar bill, SB 1156, was approved only to be vetoed by Governor Brown.
Marquit also outlined the provisions of AB 1229, which clarifies that inclusionary housing ordinances are permissible under California law.Clarification of this issue is important to Pasadena, for it has adopted an inclusionary ordinance.Huang described how, despite a 93 percent loss in affordable housing funds over the last seven years, Pasadena recently facilitated development of five affordable housing projects, including more than seventy senior units and other apartments. Huang also discussed homeless housing and support programs and an affordable housing search website, www.PasadenaHousingSearch.com, which lists only currently available units or those complexes with open waiting lists, including units in any Los Angeles County city.
Tenants who benefit from affordable housing joined League members for lunch. At various tables, these tenants shared what it meant to have stable and affordable housing for them and their families; they also urged League members to participate in a tour of affordable housing complexes to take place in June. The tour will include multifamily affordable housing units, shared housing, and permanent supportive housing. Anyone interested in attending or learning more should contact Affordable Housing Services at http://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/housing/
- A February 2010 League Day presentation on the present state of affordable housing in the area presented overviews from three important representatives from the affordable housing sector. Their powerpoint presentations can be downloaded below.
Joseph Carreras, Program Manger, Housing and RHNA, Southern California Association of Governments
Changing demographics, the impact of new legislation from Sacramento Carreras
Remy De La Paza, Staff Attorney, Community Development Project, Public Counsel Law Center
Inclusionary Zoning and General Plans De-La-Peza
William K. Huang, Housing Director, Pasadena Housing Department
Affordable Housing in Pasadena Huang