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Santa Monica's Proposed Housing and Human Services Action Plan Ready for Approval  

By Ann K. Williams
Lookout Staff

May 3, 2011 – The city has released its proposal to provide decent housing for all, make sure those with disabilities have their unique needs met, and help all residents of Santa Monica rise above the poverty line.

The 2011-12 Action Plan, which, upon approval, will be submitted U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, details specifics – including funding, public input and program goals – generated by Santa Monica's Community and Cultural Services Department and the Housing and Economic Development Department.

Funding for the array of planned projects will come from diverse sources, from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), to Redevelopment Agency monies, to loans, to name just a few sources. The total anticipated funding runs in the neighborhood of $3.2 million.

A large chunk of that money – $924,907 – is being earmarked to acquire and renovate properties to provide affordable housing for people with special needs.

An expected price tag of $455,000 will pay for rent subsidies when rent increases outstrip Section 8 funding for low-income tenants, while $300,000 will be spent on housing renovation and repair for low-income residents.

Plans and initial designs for a “universally accessible playground” that goes “beyond ADA requirements to maximize the inclusion of children with various types of disabilities” are expected to cost some $500,000, and three community facilities meeting the needs of seniors, youth and the homeless need upgrades and improvements to the tune of $289,000.

The administration of the CDBG and HOME programs is anticipated to cost $412,918.

Other projects include home modifications for householders with special needs, homeless outreach and case management, and the Family Self Sufficiency Program which helps families achieve long-term economic self sufficiency.

The city also plans to put a lead-based paint removal plan into action, to remove the toxic hazard from some 11,250 low-income housing units that may contain it.

While most of these projects are designed to be available to residents regardless of where they live, the report does include maps showing the highest concentration of minority and of low-income populations in Santa Monica.

The minority concentration map highlighted the blocks between Colorado and Pico Boulevards and between 14th and 23rd Streets as well as an area between Pico Boulevard and the 10 Freeway and between 23rd and 25th Streets – altogether roughly the Pico Neighborhood. Also indicated was an area north of the 10 Freeway and south of Olympic Boulevard and between 25th Street and the eastern border of the city.

The low- and moderate-income map, on the other hand, highlights a much larger swath of Santa Monica.

While it includes the Pico Neighborhood, it also includes most of the area between Ocean Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard and between California Avenue and Pico Boulevard. And several clusters of blocks contiguous to Ocean Park Boulevard show up on the map, including one bounded by 21st and 25th Streets and by Pearl and Oak Streets.

The 2011-2012 Action Plan will come before the City Council on Tuesday, May 10 for public hearing.


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