Author: Alan

The City of Santa Monica is Trying to Make Housing Decisions Better

The City of Santa Monica is Trying to Make Housing Decisions Better

Thousands of apartments may come to Santa Monica, other wealthy cities under little-known law By Mark Doyle

Los Angeles Times

Published Tuesday, April 23, 2007 Published Tuesday, April 23, 2007

The debate over who makes our housing decisions is at the heart of a new federal program that has been described, in a way that many would find insulting, as a crusade against “affluenza” and “entitlement,” and a way for the federal government to control the market.

The program, which is intended to help poorer Americans, has been criticized from across the political spectrum. It is funded by Congress, is overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and provides money to local governments to take over from private builders the responsibility for building low-income housing.

But the debate, and the controversy surrounding it, has largely ignored another group of Americans who face the same problem: Santa Monica’s 1,500 or so tenants who are part time homeowners.

The residents of Santa Monica’s private community have complained for years that there is nowhere else to go. They complain that they live in an affluent community, yet cannot afford to move. Many fear that losing their homes would put them out of work and make it harder for their children to get a good education.

They are supported by a grassroots group called Santa Monica United – which is backed by the city’s mayor, John Mirabal – and by a handful of city officials.

Now the city’s chief administrative officer wants to make the situation even worse for these tenants, arguing that the proposed new law could allow for a “slush fund, that would be able to create many more units but they must have their tax money.”

City officials are moving toward a vote on a controversial ordinance that would create a new private authority, the Santa Monica Community Homeowners Association, that would build 30 apartment buildings, up from 5,000 under current law.

The city would also have to give that authority nearly $1 million to cover its legal fees and the cost of

Leave a Comment