Santa Monica, a leader in the production of affordable housing, recently received $ 5.5 million in funding from two grants from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
This money will be used for three housing projects aimed at vulnerable youth, homeless people and the elderly.
“Affordable housing, always a precious resource, has become even more necessary as more and more of our community is suffering from the financial hardships of the pandemic,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “We thank HCD for this very valued contribution to our affordable housing trust fund that will provide stability to the Santa Monica people.”
The city currently has eight affordable housing projects in the pipeline for a wide range of low-income residents, including families and people with disabilities. The grant was awarded in recognition of Santa Monica’s strong commitment to providing quality housing to all types of low-income individuals.
The first award is a $ 5 million grant from the California Local Housing Trust Program. A second grant from the Permanent Local Housing Allocation Program provided $ 547,516 in 2021 and will provide approximately $ 3.3 million over the next five years.
“This is significant and welcome government support that will boost the production and maintenance of affordable housing,” said Andy Agle, director of the city’s local government. “The awards reflect Santa Monica’s commitment to affordable housing and will help preserve existing housing and provide the community with more affordable housing.”
One of the projects will protect 40 apartments in the Pico district by renovating a building and officially designating it as affordable living space. The aging complex on Virginia Ave has been investigated by speculative property developers, which threatened the residential stability of its elderly residents.
Thanks to a loan from the city, the Santa Monica Community Corporation was able to purchase the building and will use this new grant to fund part of its conservation and improvement efforts.
“The renovation will put the building in a state where it will have an additional 80 years of useful life and preserve the community in which the residents have lived for decades,” said Jim Kemper, director of the city’s housing program.
The second project for which the funding is flowing is a residential building with 58 apartments for homeless people. EAH Housing is developing the project on 14th St. and Michigan Ave. which will offer a range of support services to its residents.
The final project is a 13-piece smaller housing development on Berkeley St. and Santa Monica Blvd. This building is being developed by the Community Corp of Santa Monica and is aimed at young adults who are or are at risk of becoming homeless.
As the demand for affordable housing in Los Angeles continues to well outpace supply, these projects will help overcome the city’s affordability crisis and create stable housing for many community members.
“We always try to put people who live or work here and want to live in affordable housing on the waiting list,” said Kemper. “If people are housed affordable, they can thrive in other ways. They have access to good education and can actively participate in the community. When people live in the same city they work in, they help reduce traffic and pollution. “
Kemper said anyone wishing to sign up for the waiting list should visit santamonica.gov/housing-BMH.