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Affordable Housing Efforts Show Progress, City Officials Say

Published on Monday, March 4, 2024 | 4:00 am

[Updated] If you think the City is not doing its part to provide more affordable housing, think again.

Over the past four years, 1,709 affordable housing units were built in the City, including low, moderate income, workforce, and permanent supportive housing.

“We’re tackling the issue of affordable housing head-on,” Mayor Victor Gordo said in his State of the City speech on Thursday.

About 10% of all Pasadena households now live in affordable housing—either in an affordable housing unit or receiving rental assistance such as Section 8—and more affordable housing projects are in the pipeline.

In November, the City received a $5 million grant for the construction of an affordable senior development at 280 Ramona Street, across from City Hall, which is planned with 100 dwelling units, interior community space, and a landscaped outdoor area for residents.

In October, the City Council voted 5-1 with two members abstaining to deny an appeal and approve the application for concept design review for a project to be built at 740 to 790 E. Green Street.

The state is currently mired in a housing crisis.

According to the City’s website, as housing prices have increased faster than household income, the affordability crisis continues to worsen. In 2017, 56 percent of all Pasadena households experienced a housing cost burden, meaning more than 30 percent of household income was spent on rent or a mortgage.

Rents in some buildings are now well over $3,000.

Under the Housing Element, the City is required to plan for—not build—a near impossible 9,429 units of new housing by October 2029, including 2,747 very low income units, 1,662 units of low income housing, 1,565 units of moderate income housing, and 3,455 units of above moderate income housing units.

The large number of housing units Pasadena was allocated came in response by the State to California’s overwhelming housing crisis.

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