31 August 2008
In November Redondo Beach residents will cast their votes on a “development by
ballot box” initiative. If this no-growth issue passes, all proposed developments from larger apartment complexes to retail strip centers, will have to be approved by a vote of the people. All planning commissions and city council members will become disenfranchised (and, thus, not accountable to the public) for any and all new projects in the city. Traffic mitigation, environmental concerns and access will be totally in the unschooled hands of neighborhoods. Voters, untrained in the complex intricacies of development and finance, will make decisions on the proposed projects that will impact city budgets, county taxation and the citizenry for years to come. Because these votes will be “for” or “against” each project, there will be no opportunity to incorporate changes or suggestions.
Furthermore, the builders will have the responsibility to pay the $50,000+ cost of
the city’s election on top of expenses to run a campaign to promote his/her
OK. We get the message. Some residents do not want any more growth. BUT, if this
ballot box development initiative passes, other cities WILL FOLLOW, thereby
destroying a property owner’s rights.
WE NEED YOUR HELP TO STOP THIS INITIATIVE!
• • •
The City of Los Angeles is facing a depletion of affordable housing as 14,000 rental units currently rented to low income tenants expire in the next five years.
According to the Daily Breeze and an article written on August 18 by Kerry Cavanaugh, “City housing officials can’t predict how many units ultimately will be
converted to higher rents or how many poor renters could be displaced—a lot
depends on the housing market, the availability of public dollars for preservation
and property owners’ individual choices.
“But Housing Department General Manager Mercedes Marquez said the city must
act now to ensure there’s not a tidal wave of lost affordable housing in L.A.“Most of these developments are approaching 20 years in age and most of these are long-term residents. They are members of the community and neighborhood stability affects everything we do,” Marquez said. “If we don’t do anything, then we’re definitely going to lose those units.”
The race to preserve affordable apartments comes as a formerly hot real-estate market spurred the demolition and conversion to condominiums of more than 2,000
Affordable housing contracts and covenants began in the late 1960s, when the federal government decided to offer low-interest mortgages to encourage private developers to build and manage low-income housing.
In exchange for the financial incentive, building owners agreed to restrict the rent for a certain number of years and rent to poorer tenants.
Later, the state, city and the city’s redevelopment agency also offered loans or financing to developers in exchange for maintaining units as affordable for a certain amount of time—anywhere from 15 to 55 years, depending on the contracts.
When owners want out of the rental subsidy program, the city tries to line up nonprofits that could buy the building with government assistance and ensure the apartments stay low-income.
Many building owners who fulfill their covenant obligations should be able to easily convert to market rent.
“A deal’s a deal. If they want to come back to me to negotiate a fair means to make a living and a profit, then I’ll stay in,” owners say. “They just have to be more business-friendly.”
This challenge is one that we could use your input.
WON’T YOU HELP?
Long Beach’s Mayor Bob Foster has introduced the Long Beach Infrastructure Reinvestment Act, Proposition I (see overview on page 24). If passed, this parcel tax will cost all rental property owners in Long Beach $120 a door beginning on their December 2009 property tax bill. This will increase by the CPI each year for 34 years.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
• • •
Throughout this article I have been asking for your help. Each Fall we recruit new members for the Board of Directors and we would like you to consider applying for a Board position if you are actively involved in the rental housing industry.
Our service territory includes the 54 cities of southern Los Angeles and western Orange counties.
Our Board meetings are monthly at 8 a.m. on the third Thursday of the month. We ask that Board members support association activities and programs and serve on our committees or task forces.
We ask you to give back some time to the industry that has given or is giving so much to you.
Please complete the application on page 14 and return it to the office by October 1, 2008. Board member terms begin in January 2009.
Join us, won’t you?
Help us protect and preserve the rental housing industry.