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Council Chooses Developer for Affordable Housing Projects


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By Jorge Casuso

March 21, 2024 -- The City Council on Tuesday chose the Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (HCHC) to build 130 housing units for low-income and homeless tenants on three City-owned properties.

HCHC was chosen from among nine developers vying to build housing on three surface parking lots near the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center -- at 1217 Euclid Street, 1211-1217 14th Street and 1146 16th Street.

Staff recommended HCHC for its track record (it has built more than 1,200 affordable units) and its familiarity with the city (its executive director, Sara Letts, headed the Community Corporation of Santa Monica).

Once built, the projects would serve individuals and families making from 30 to 80 percent of the Area Median Income, as well as people experiencing homelessness, City officials said.

"An important part of Santa Monica’s Housing Element is our commitment to dedicate several city-owned properties to advance much-needed affordable housing production,” Mayor Phil Brock said in a statement after the meeting.

“I am glad to see these projects moving forward as part of our city’s strategic effort to address homelessness and continue to build a community where all have the ability to live and thrive.”

The proposed developments will make a dent in Santa Monica's daunting State mandate to plan to build approximately 6,200 affordable housing units over the next seven years.

The three properties -- which the Council designated as surplus land last March -- are among 24 City owned properties earmarked for 100 percent affordable housing development in the City's Housing Element.

The City owned sites would provide a total of 1,880 affordable units, less than one-third of the State-mandated quota. The City will likely need to rely on inclusionary housing in large market rate developments to meet the quota.

HCHC's proposal includes 87 general affordable residences, 40 permanent supportive housing residences, and three units for property managers, according to staff's report to the Council. HCHC would serve as property manager for all three sites.

All the permanent supportive housing units would be located on the Euclid Street site, which would also include 24 affordable residences for the general population, staff said.

"The Euclid Street site will include permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals, with The People Concern as the lead supportive service provider," City officials said.

The People Concern will provide "wrap around supportive services including mental health services, crisis intervention, individual therapy, rehabilitation and therapeutic groups, substance abuse services, life skills education, medication management, benefits assistance and connections to outside services as needed."

The Council's unanimous vote to negotiate and execute an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with HCHC paves the way a community engagement process to allow for input on the design and development plan, City staff said.

"A refined proposal incorporating community feedback is expected to return to council for final consideration and approval in 2025," staff said.

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