handle the requirement for them.
The council changed the area's zoning in August to allow for
housing, and state law requires affordable housing in redevelopment
zones. The new affordable units should address a regional need for
"Only 17% of people in Los Angeles County can afford to buy a
house today," said Alfredo Izmajtovich, housing development officer
of the Southern California Housing Development Corp., a nonprofit
company that develops affordable housing. "Most people pay much more
than 30% of their income toward rent.
"I've been looking over a year now trying to find a site in
Glendale. I can't find raw land, I can't find underutilized land, and
if I do find a site, there are probably four or five guys competing,
and market-rate developers can pay more than I can."
The state law requires developers to make 15% of their project
affordable housing in a redevelopment zone, so a 100-unit building
can have 85 market-rate apartments and 15 affordable housing
apartments. Developers also have the choice of addressing the
requirement by building off-site units or paying the city's Housing
Authority for the units. If the units are built outside of the
redevelopment zone, state law doubles the required number of units.
Because the city's other redevelopment zone was created before the
state requirement for affordable housing, the city has never dealt
with the state requirement.
City Council members will decide tonight how much to charge
developers who pay the Housing Authority instead of building the
units themselves. To cover 15%, developers would have to pay $25 per
square foot for ownership projects and $30 per square foot for rental
projects. If the Housing Authority has to build the units outside of
the redevelopment zone, the prices double. The council will decide
whether to charge the 15% rate, the 30% rate or something in between.
"Because there are few parcels within San Fernando that housing
can be built on, it's not likely that the Housing Authority will get
all of those parcels," said Andrea Hipps, a senior administrative
analyst for the city. "Chances are, they will be built outside of the
area, and we'll have to build twice as many units.
"What you get when you go outside a project area may be twice as
many units assisted by Housing Authority, but you would get them
online later in time. You would get perhaps fewer units if they are
built on-site, but they might be available more quickly."
The rate the council chooses will determine which option
developers use, Hipps said. If the developer must pay twice as much
for the city to handle the requirement, he is more likely to include
the units in the project.
"There's always a need for affordable housing in Glendale," said
Peter Zovak, the city's housing development and preservation
director. "This [affordable housing requirement] in San Fernando can
help address that need. What it's providing is just another source of
revenue to accomplish the affordable housing."