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Affordable Housing

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2010 | By Martha Groves
For decades, Santa Monica has allowed developers to add floors to their buildings or exceed other zoning restrictions in exchange for providing affordable housing to poor and moderate-income tenants. Such was the case with Dorchester House, a luxury condominium low-rise just blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Almost three decades ago, the city approved a development plan in which 15 first-floor units were earmarked as affordable housing. But as real estate attorney Stanley Epstein learned recently, the city has done little to enforce these agreements.
ARTICLES BY DATE
OPINION
April 24, 2014 | By Harold Meyerson
The most fundamental problem Los Angeles faces is that a huge number of Angelenos can't even afford to live here. Their pay is too low; their rent is too high. Last week, the real estate website Zillow released a survey commissioned by the New York Times that identified the 90 American cities where the median rent exceeded 30% of the median household income. (The 30% figure is the threshold at which rent is generally deemed unaffordable.) The survey ranked those 90 cities by the percentage of their residents' median income devoted to their median rent.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 11, 2000 | CHARLOTTE CRAVEN, Charlotte Craven is a Camarillo City Council member
The Times' report on the housing crunch in Ventura County on June 4 was a good starting point for public discussion on the tremendous shortage of housing, cities' legal requirements for affordable housing, what residents tell us they want and the ocean that separates all of the above. People constantly tell elected officials that it is more important to follow the "intent" of Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR)) or Measure A than what those initiatives actually mandate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
In a symbolic move meant to spotlight the steep rents and shabby conditions facing renters across the city, housing activists and a city councilman declared Wednesday to be "Renters' Day" in Los Angeles. "We are at a moment of crisis," said Councilman Gil Cedillo, who is asking the council to approve a resolution marking the day. "We are in jeopardy of losing an incredible amount, an extraordinary amount, of housing stock for the poor. But not just for the poor, for the entirety of the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2009 | By Scott Gold
Los Angeles officials are close to completing a deal that would relocate a metal finishing company that has long been the bane of a poor neighborhood -- the final piece of an ambitious quarter-billion-dollar plan to bring affordable housing to a pocket of South L.A. The company, Palace Plating, has become symbolic of the enduring troubles that followed South L.A.'s slapdash development. Opened in 1941, it's the type of factory that drew thousands of working-class families to the city during the boom years of World War II. Yet it was wedged onto a narrow street next to homes and across from 28th Street School, which soon became one of the largest elementary campuses in the nation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2008 | David Zahniser
A plan to reward real estate developers who put affordable housing in their market-rate residential projects was approved Wednesday by the City Council. On an 11-4 vote, the council approved a package of incentives that roll back zoning rules governing height, density, open space or the number of parking spaces for residential projects that have at least 5% of their housing units designated as affordable. -- -- David Zahniser
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 1995
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday killed a plan to convert an affordable-housing complex in Venice into a project consisting mostly of upscale condominiums. The council voted unanimously to oppose the redevelopment request of TransAction Cos. Ltd., the owner of Lincoln Place, one of the largest affordable-housing complexes on the Westside. The decision came as good news to tenants who fought the proposal. "We're flying a little bit high right now," said Ingrid Mueller.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 1989 | MARCIDA DODSON, Times Staff Writer
Increasing the amount of affordable housing in Irvine is possible only if city officials are willing to give developers concessions that reduce the costs of construction, a consultant told City Council members Tuesday afternoon. Only with incentives--such as increasing the density of apartments, waiving fees for parks and requiring fewer parking spaces--can developers afford to build the lower-priced housing that Irvine officials say they want, consultant Claude Gruen said. "All we're saying is that mandating affordable housing is not free," said Gruen, who is president of a San Francisco economic and sociological research firm.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2003 | Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
Irvine officials promised Tuesday to honor a commitment by Tustin to offer 14 homes at the former Tustin Marine base as temporary housing for poor families. The homes are on an area of the base within Irvine's boundaries. The bulk of the base is in Tustin. The homes, transitional housing, will be operated by Families Forward of Irvine, formerly known as Irvine Temporary Housing.
OPINION
March 27, 2011
Ever since Gov. Jerry Brown proposed patching one of the huge holes in California's budget by eliminating community redevelopment agencies, supporters of those agencies and their mission have been scrambling to save them or, failing that, to save the essence of them. That's a worthy campaign, because the redevelopment system, despite its flaws and susceptibility to abuse, does provide a useful tool for revitalizing blighted areas, creating jobs and supplying much-needed support for affordable housing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2014 | By Hailey Branson-Potts
The walls of Alice Herman's home are covered in photographs. Herman and Sylvia Purdue, her partner of 45 years, smile in scenes from birthdays and hospital rooms. In black-and-white photos from their younger days, their hair is teased, their makeup flawless. After Purdue died a few years ago, Herman was left with two cats and enough money for two months' rent. Years of Purdue's hospital bills had chipped away their savings. Because Purdue died before the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last summer, Herman could not receive Purdue's Social Security benefits.
BUSINESS
April 15, 2014 | By Andrew Khouri
Most Californians can't afford their rent. The state's affordability crisis has worsened since the recession, as soaring home prices and rents outpace job and income growth. Meanwhile, government funds to combat the problem have evaporated. Local redevelopment agencies once generated roughly $1 billion annually for below-market housing across California, but the roughly 400 agencies closed in 2012 to ease a state budget crisis. In addition, almost $5 billion from state below-market housing bonds, approved by voters last decade, is nearly gone.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 2014 | By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO -- Senate leader Darrell Steinberg on Monday outlined a new proposal for funding affordable housing, transportation upgrades and bullet train construction with money from California's cap-and-trade program. The program, approved by the Legislature to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, generates revenue by forcing companies to pay fees when their carbon dioxide emissions exceed state limits. Steinberg's proposal is a shift from an idea the Sacramento Democrat floated earlier this year -- transforming part of the program into an additional gas tax. The senator admitted that plan "wasn't very popular," so he dropped efforts to change the program and is focusing on how to spend the money already being generated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes and Tim Logan
Dozens of people shared only three showers in the building that Patricia McDowell called home for the last 2 1/2 years. Roaches skittered across the floor, she said, and lights went out and stayed out. In recent months, McDowell said she had to run an extension cord to another room to keep electricity going. But when the Los Angeles Fire Department told McDowell and dozens of other tenants that they had to clear out of the building at 5700 S. Hoover St., citing dangerous conditions, she panicked.
OPINION
March 17, 2014 | By Mollie Lowery
Lourdes was 69 years old when I first met her in 2012. She was living next to a bus stop on a busy four-lane street in front of a Silver Lake supermarket. Lourdes had claimed the spot three years earlier, after she was rousted from her encampment in Griffith Park. Before that, she'd lived in her 1973 Toyota, but it was eventually impounded because of overdue parking tickets. Lourdes was one of the folks we call "chronically homeless. " She'd been surviving on the city's margins for 20 years after losing her low-cost housing because of gentrification.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn and Chris O'Brien
SAN FRANCISCO - It's the kind of backlash that Marc Benioff could never have imagined when he started the city's largest technology company 15 years ago in a Telegraph Hill apartment, some 30 miles north of Silicon Valley. By starting a business software firm that would create jobs in the city and donate 1% of its profit to charity, Benioff believed he was building a company that reflected San Francisco's progressive ideals. And he says he's proud to have been a catalyst for the city's tech economy that has since grown to 2,000 companies.
HOME & GARDEN
April 10, 2010 | By Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times
During a tour of his new East Rancho Dominguez apartment, Octavio Reyna paused proudly at his low-flow toilet. "Two kinds of flush," he said, gesturing to the buttons on top of the shiny white porcelain and delicately leaving the specifics to his guest's imagination. Then he was on to the bathtub, where "it's in our contract that we can't change the shower head," then the kitchen, with its shiny floor that is "green-friendly," and then the living room, where an energy-guzzling air conditioner was conspicuously absent.
HOME & GARDEN
December 21, 2013 | By Alissa Walker
The apartment building at 2602 Broadway in Santa Monica doesn't scream "affordable housing. " Rather, its proportions and details are more like that of the neighboring 1960s buildings, and that's because 2602 Broadway takes a cue from those iconic structures, architect Kevin Daly said. "What we've done is take the typical L.A. dingbat, which I would characterize as a four-sided doughnut of a building, and break it apart and move toward the extreme edge of the property," Daly said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2013 | By Victoria Looseleaf
Sick of Obamacare overload?  Welcome, then, to Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre's “The Groundskeepers,” where healthcare comes to beautifully moody, elegiac life. Running through Saturday, this new, seven-scene, two-hour work written by George Moreno and mounted by site-specific queen Duckler, who founded her troupe in 1985, animates Boyle Heights' shuttered Linda Vista Hospital. Built in 1904 for railroad workers, Charles Whittlesey's massive structure closed in 1991 and will soon be converted into affordable housing.
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