Santa Monica’s housing element doesn’t fulfill its RHNA target of 8,895 homes. The city council approved it anyway.
Last Tuesday, Santa Monica’s city council approved the housing element as is by a 5-2 vote. With only Councilmember Gleam Davis and Vice Mayor Kristin McCowan opposing, the majority NIMBY city council forced Santa Monica to openly defy state laws, which mandate cities to plan for housing growth according to the RHNA allocation and affirmatively further fair housing.
Not only does Santa Monica’s housing element fail to accomodate 8,895 new homes as required by housing element law, it also proposes a upzoning scheme that almost perfectly aligns with the city’s redlining map, making a mockery of fair housing law. And the city council approved this clearly non-compliant plan despite receiving majority pro-housing comments from the public, from teachers who can’t afford to live close to their students, from Santa Monica College students who can’t afford to live where they study, and from compassionate Santa Monicans who simply wish to welcome new neighbors into this lovely city. Sadly, their pleas fell on deaf ears.
Santa Monica’s struggles for a fair and compliant housing element illustrate local barriers against a future of abundant and affordable housing. In this day and age, when renters across the board endure high housing burden and bear historic rent debt, it is disheartening to see certain Santa Monica leaders hide behind the smoke screen of “affordable housing crisis” to deny reforms that will legalize more homes and make building homes easier. This housing element can’t stand. Now that it has been approved by the city council, the next step is to advocate for HCD to find it non-compliant, and decline to certify it.
Enforce housing element laws, hold cities to high standards!
Under California’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment, cities must update the housing element in a way that encourages historically high housing growth, while affirmatively furthering fair housing opportunities and undoing patterns of discrimination in housing. This offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address the need for more housing in a way that furthers equity, environmental sustainability, and economic recovery.
As the sole agency responsible for reviewing and certifying cities’ housing elements, HCD plays a crucial role in creating a California with abundant and affordable housing, and re-shaping segregated cities to chart a different course than the redlining past. But disappointingly, by certifying San Diego’s and Imperial Beach’s housing elements, both of which are clearly non-compliant, the department appears to be ready to flush six years of housing progress down the toilet. Now is a critical moment. The housing crisis will only get worse each year; we can’t stand idly by as cities submit plans of inaction for HCD to rubber stamp. Use the tool below to tell HCD and Governor Newsom to enforce housing element laws and hold cities to high standards!
Monrovia Housing and Tenant Advocates Meeting
Mon 10/18 | 7:30 – 9 pm
Alhambra Chapter Meeting
Wed 10/20 | 7:30 – 8:30 pm
Pasadena Chapter Meeting
Wed 10/20 | 6 – 7pm
Please email email@example.com” style=”text-decoration: underline; color: #228ae6;” rel=”noopener”>Jaime Del Rio to attend local meetings.
Abundant Housing LA is presenting a 2-part workshop on LA County’s housing and homelessness crisis in partnership with North Hollywood Neighborhood Council!
What would a better housing future look like for LA, and how do we get there while making sure we equitably center communities, prevent displacement, and adapt to the climate crisis? Join us to learn about housing history and what YOU can do to advocate for housing in your community. We will cover:
- Overview of the racist history of exclusion in zoning and land use, with a focus on LA
- The relationship between housing scarcity, high housing costs, and homelessness
- The environmental impacts of scarcity, and why we need housing density to reach climate goals
- Planning for housing abundance while centering equity, community, and environmentalism – What opportunities exist for advocacy? What policies should we advance?
Pro-housing rapid response team for LA City!
What does it take to make it onto the pro-housing rapid response team? A few qualities we are looking for:
Sign up here.
Editorial: Los Angeles will soon have a plan to start solving its housing crisis
Los Angeles Times
Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of bills that effectively eliminated single-family zoning in most of California, making it easier to build more housing in more neighborhoods. That was a big deal because restrictive zoning has been a major constraint on housing production for decades.
But there is an even more important change underway across the state. Every eight years, cities and counties have to produce a voluminous document, called a Housing Element, that demonstrates how they will plan and zone for enough development to house their fair share of the state’s growing population. Cities aren’t required to construct the homes, but they have to adopt laws and policies that make it easier for the private sector to build market-rate and affordable housing.
Seizing a once in a lifetime opportunity to end homelessness in the US
The choices and the opportunities facing the nation in the economic package now being considered by Congress are unprecedented. Many of them — health, education, family leave, and others — are important. But none will have its intended impact unless the proposals to ensure safe, stable and affordable homes are enacted. A home is the foundation upon which all the other priorities rest.
Science, data and common sense make the importance of stable homes clear, yet federal funding to make it possible has been neglected for decades. The result? Growing homelessness that overwhelms even the shelter system, resulting in over 200,000 people living on sidewalks or in cars every night. Millions more households are forced to spend so much of their income on rent that they have little left for food, clothing or health care.
Show your support for ending exclusionary zoning with a yard sign!
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Abundant Housing LA
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