First published in the Aug. 27 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.
By Gavin J. Quinton
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1177 on Monday, creating a regional affordable housing trust between the cities of Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale.
Written by state Sen. Anthony Portantino, the bill will use $23 million, which was recently approved in the 2022-2023 state budget, to help finance affordable-housing projects in the three cities.
The bill authorizes Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena to fund housing aimed at assisting their low income and homeless populations. Specifically, it authorizes the three cities to plan and build housing, receive public and private financing and funds as well as authorize and issue bonds.
In June, Portantino announced that his budget request to create and fund the regional affordable-housing trust had been approved.
“I am thrilled that the governor has supported and funded this effort,” Portantino said.
“Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena have been at the forefront of meeting California’s housing needs. The high cost of housing has had a devastating effect on Californians, especially on lower income and workforce households in the Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena area,” he added.
The three cities 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. Due to insufficient local funding, they have been unable to bring their backlog of affordable-housing projects to completion, according to Portantino’s office.
Glendale had a median gross rent of $1,711 between 2016 and 2020, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, and 38% of Glendale residents allocate more than half of their total income toward rent payments. In unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose, the average median rent was $1,833, with 28% of residents spending more than half of their income toward rent.
“The city of Glendale is incredibly grateful to the governor for recognizing the tri-cities’ creative approach to bringing more affordable housing to our region, and for signing SB 1177 into law,” Mayor Ardy Kassakhian said in a statement. “Glendale is ready to get to work with our neighboring cities of Burbank and Pasadena to help meet the housing needs of vulnerable individuals and families in the region.”
Increasing land prices, construction costs and interest rates have made creating affordable public housing difficult for the three cities, Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo said.
“This is not a challenge that can be addressed by one city alone … but we are committed to do all we can to create more affordable housing. SB 1177 is a critical part of that commitment,” he said.
Under the bill, a joint-power authority consisting of the three cities 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-, very low-, low-, and moderate-income households.