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SaMo: Buildings With Affordable Units Go to Head of the Line

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Santa Monica is weighing dozens of development proposals for the city and the city council on Tuesday prioritized what kinds of plans will be first in line for greenlighting, the Santa Monica Daily Press reports. The big priority for the council was affordability, with a big push for affordable units in new apartment buildings. Spurred by the death of local redevelopment agencies and the loss of $15 million in state funds for low-income housing in the city, the council gave priority to buildings that reserve 15 percent of units for very-low income families, and five percent set aside for moderate-income units. Very-low income households are families of three who earn $37,950 annually, or 50 percent of the area's median income, while moderate-income families earn 80 percent of AMI, or $60,750 a year. There was some haggling over the inclusion of low-income families, as opposed to "very" low-income, in that 15 percent, but that was dropped (low-income families are those who make 60 percent of AMI). The city will also bump up projects that contribute to SaMo's coffers, like hotels, but they should conform to city requirements, like providing living wages. City staff suggested the council impose size minimums on new units--400 square feet for studios, 600 square feet for one bedrooms--but the council said no thanks, saying it's not the size of the apartments that counts, it's how you design the space.
· City Council Sets Priorities for Future Development in Santa Monica [SMDP]