Relocation Plan for Affordable Housing Projects Approved
Posted Jul. 31, 2011, 11:48 pm
Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer
A relocation plan for proposed affordable housing sites at 1924 and 1930 Euclid Street, 1753 18th Street, and 1754 19th Street was formally approved on July 26 by the Santa Monica City Council. The plan was adopted as part of the proposed senior housing projects at the FAME Santa Monica Senior Apartments in the Pico-Union neighborhood.
Council’s action at its July 26 meeting was pursuant to state law requiring the City to “approve a relocation plan before any permanent displacement of residents can occur as a result of a proposed development that will receive public assistance.”
The relocation plan allows for affected parties to receive actual moving and related expenses or a “fixed moving payment” based on a “Fixed Residential Moving Cost Schedule.” Additionally, those being forced to relocate may be entitled to a “replacement housing payment to rent or buy a replacement home.” Under this payment plan, several factors determine the exact amount potentially recovered by the relocated party, including the costs of a comparable replacement home, the monthly rent, and average cost of utility services for one’s present residence, and 30 percent of the affected party’s gross household income.
Housing Administrator Jim Kemper told council members the approval of the relocation plan would allow construction of the affordable senior housing projects.
“This would conclude a series of public hearings before the construction commences in October. The council has previously approved the bond financing and the replacement housing plan for this project,” Kemper said. “The rent control board has also approved the removal permit for the subject properties.”
In order to move forward with the construction of the FAME affordable senior housing projects, which were already approved by the Architectural Review Board (ARB) and the Santa Monica Planning Commission, a “demolition of three single-family homes and a four-unit multifamily building” would be required; two of those seven residences “were occupied when FAME purchased the properties in 2009.” The approved relocation plan provides financial assistance to those still claiming residence at the subject properties. They will receive a moving payment and a relocation payment.
According to Kemper’s staff report to council members, the two remaining occupied households “comprise a total of four persons who will be permanently displaced as a result of the development.” State law requires both of these households to receive “comparable and available replacement housing (which) must be identified prior to the relocation of the displaced household.”
However, Kemper pointed out that FAME’s relocation consultant conducted several rental housing surveys in May 2011 to locate comparable replacement housing in proximity to 1924 Euclid Street and 1954 19th Street. According to the results of those surveys, FAME found “that there is an adequate supply of replacement housing available to meet the needs of the households that will be displaced, although at higher rental rates than what the residents are currently paying.”
“Therefore, the (r)elocation plan establishes the amount of financial assistance that will be provided to the households to facilitate the transition to replacement housing,” Kemper stated in his staff report.
In April, FAME Santa Monica Redevelopment Corporation, a non-profit organization, and developer Gary Squier, requested from the council the opportunity to pursue the tax-exempt bonds to build the senior housing projects at 1754 19th Street (owned by the First African Methodist Episcopal Church), 1924 and 1930 Euclid Street, and 1753 18th Street (owned by the non-profit redevelopment firm), respectively. Council approved the request and specified the tax-exempt bonds would come from the California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA). The planned 49-unit project in the Pico-Euclid neighborhood is expected to cost about $16.9 million.
Plans for the senior affordable housing call for the project to include forty-two singles, six one-bedrooms, and one two-bedroom residences.