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Santa Monica to Begin Accepting Housing Applications for 'Historically Displaced Households'

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By Lookout Staff

January 10, 2022 -- Starting next Tuesday, households or their descendants displaced by urban renewal projects in Santa Monica in the 1950s and 60s can begin applying for affordable housing.

The new Below Market Housing (BMH) pilot program gives priority to those displaced by the Civic Auditorium in the Belmar Triangle neighborhood or the I-10 Highway in the Pico neighborhood.

The program will place as many as 100 mostly Black or Latino "historically displaced households," including children and grandchildren, in line for City-funded and inclusionary housing.

“We created this program in the earnest hope that former Santa Monica residents take advantage of this new affordable housing opportunity,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich.

“If you know community members who were displaced in the 1950s and 1960s, we ask for your assistance in sharing the pilot information so we can identify as many candidates as possible.”

If more than 100 households apply within the first 30 days of the application period, a lottery will be conducted, City officials said.

If fewer than 100 applications are received, the enrollment period will be extended and as many as as 100 total applications will be reviewed in the order received.

Bounded by Pico Boulevard and Main and Fourth streets, the Belmar Triangle was the heart of Santa Monica's African-American community in the first half of the 20th century.

Rows of shotgun houses and neighborhood businesses lined the streets near the ocean before Santa Monica City leaders condemned and destroyed the black-owned properties to build the Civic Auditorium under a national program called Build America Better.

A decade later, poor Black and Latino households were displaced when the State of California used eminent domain to purchase houses along what would become the I-10 highway that split the Pico neighborhood in two in the 1960s.

The new pilot program was approved by the City Council in July to address racist housing polices and practices that took place in the past century.

For more information about the Below Market Housing (BMH) click here

For questions about the program, email

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