First published in the Feb. 19 print issue of the Glendale News Press.
State Sen. Anthony Portantino recently introduced Senate Bill 1177, a measure that creates a regional housing trust between the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena in order to increase much needed affordable housing opportunities.
“Our goal is to tackle the affordable housing crisis with a long-term regional approach,” Portantino said. “SB 1177 provides an opportunity for these cities to collaborate on affordable housing projects based on their unique needs. The three cities are prepared and committed to working together to develop more affordable housing for the region and I look forward to working with them to help make this happen. I couldn’t be more proud to represent a district that endeavors to use creative solutions to solve our regional housing needs.”
The high cost of housing and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on lower income households, with rents and home prices having far outpaced wage growth. Collectively, the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena have nearly 3,000 affordable housing units in the combined development pipeline, including permanent supportive housing, senior housing, workforce housing and affordable home ownership units. However, they are unable to bring their backlog of affordable housing projects to completion due to insufficient local funding. This situation has dramatically affected the city’s ability to meet all of their affordable housing needs.
SB 1177 would create of a regional housing trust fund that would be administered by a joint powers authority comprised of the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. If created, the JPA would be allowed to request and receive private and state funding allocations, as well as authorize and issue bonds, to help finance affordable housing projects for persons and families of extremely low to moderate income households.
“The city of Glendale is excited to place its support behind Senator Anthony Portantino’s legislative proposal to establish a Regional Housing Trust Fund, JPA. In collaboration with our neighbors in Burbank and Pasadena, this will provide us with the opportunity to address the state’s housing crisis and has the potential to bring millions of dollars to the region and help fund the affordable housing needs of our communities,” said Glendale Mayor Paula Devine.
Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo said his city supports Portantino’s introduction of SB 1177 to create the Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena Regional Housing Trust Fund.
“Addressing housing affordability is an important issue that requires a regional approach,” Gordo said. “Working together with our neighbors in the tri-city area, as well as with those in the greater San Gabriel Valley, is absolutely the correct strategy. A new housing trust fund will help us bring much needed affordable housing, and especially critically needed permanent supportive housing, to Pasadena and the surrounding region.”
Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes added, “The Burbank City Council members and I are excited to support Sen. Portantino’s proposed legislation to create the Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena Regional Housing Trust. The establishment of this Housing Trust will be beneficial to the tri-city area, allowing us to generate additional funding to help finance affordable housing projects that otherwise would not be available. We look forward to collaborating with Senator Portantino and his staff to advocate for our fair share of funding to support the housing needs of our community.”
The cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena are members of the Arroyo Verdugo sub-region and have worked collaboratively in the past, sharing the goal of cooperatively addressing regional priorities and matters of mutual interest. They each operate their own housing authority, and both Glendale and Pasadena are two of the three cities in the state that have their own homeless continuum of care.