The City Council considered a new program Wednesday that would provide more than $1.5 million to help improve and build affordable housing in the next five years.
Under the proposed Affordable Housing Strategy, the city would distribute the funds to applicants seeking to either improve existing affordable housing through remodeling projects or develop new low-income housing, city planner Leslie Davis said.
In the coming weeks, the city will accept grant proposals from groups interested in building affordable units.
Council members said they would like to see the proposals before deciding how to divide the money, which comes from a portion of property tax revenue generated during the past six years in the city's redevelopment district.
The state requires cities to set aside 20% of property tax funds generated within a redevelopment district for affordable housing, Davis said.
"Once you have more than $500,000, you must have a plan to spend the money within the next five years," Davis said.
In a recent survey of central San Clemente, Davis told the City Council that officials found about 110 single-family homes and 211 multifamily homes in need of rehabilitation. More than 3,300, or 18%, of the total units in the city were built more than 30 years ago.
The need for new affordable units is also great, she said.
In the next decade, Davis said, 899 affordable units are scheduled to be built by Ranch Developers, and 24 affordable units will be built on other vacant land in the city.
But even with that development, the city will still need about 1,000 more low-income units to meet an expected demand, she said.
Affordable housing standards are based on a resident's yearly earnings compared to median home prices in the surrounding area.