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Blind to the Housing Crisis

22 Jun

When Jesus proclaimed his mission, he said that he had come to “preach good news to the poor” and “sight to the blind” ( Luke 4:18). As this LA Times editorial makes clear, in order to address our state’s housing crisis, cities need to zone for enough housing to meet the needs of all its residents, not just high end and single-family residents. Unfortunately, the California Assn. of Governments seems to be blind to this crisis. We need to help our elected officials see the dire effects of unaffordable housing and increasing homelessness, so that cities can do something about this growing crisis. –Anthony

Southern California is mired in a housing affordability and homelessness crisis that is undermining the region’s quality of life and threatening its economic prosperity. But local elected leaders apparently haven’t gotten the memo or simply don’t care.

How else to explain a recent vote by the board of the Southern California Assn. of Governments, which is composed of city and county elected officials from across the region, that vastly underestimates the number of homes needed to ease the existing shortage and to house the next generation of Californians.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-fair-share-housing-scag-20190621-story.html

 

“Investors” are buying homes, jacking up prices

22 Jun

“Woe to you who add house to house and join field to field,  until no place is left and you live alone in the land.” Isaiah 5:8.

 The prophet Isaiah makes it clear that God is not pleased with the rich who speculate in land and leave the poor landless and homeless. Yet this is what is happening in America today. “Investors” are grabbing homes and making it increasingly difficult for home buyers to find an affordable home. Another example of how the “free market” is exacerbating our nation’s housing crisis. Has the time come for the government to start building affordable homes, as it did in the 1970s? What would Jesus and the prophets call on us to do? –Anthony

A confluence of factors — rising construction costs, restrictive zoning rules and shifting consumer preferences, among others — has already led to a scarcity of affordably priced housing in many big cities. Investors, fueled by Wall Street capital, are snapping up much of what remains.

“If it weren’t bad enough out there for first-time home buyers, the additional competition from investors is increasingly pushing starter homes out of the reach of many households,” said Ralph McLaughlin, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic, a provider of real estate data.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/20/business/economy/starter-homes-investors.html

Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot

22 Jun

I have felt led to post articles on affordable housing which are appearing with increasing regularity since our nation is undergoing a housing crisis. This article by

Single-family zoning is practically gospel in America, embraced by homeowners and local governments to protect neighborhoods of tidy houses from denser development nearby.

But a number of officials across the country are starting to make seemingly heretical moves. The Oregon legislature this month will consider a law that would end zoning exclusively for single-family homes in most of the state. California lawmakers have drafted a bill that would effectively do the same. In December, the Minneapolis City Council voted to end single-family zoning citywide. The Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Julián Castro have taken up the cause, too.

A reckoning with single-family zoning is necessary, they say, amid mounting crises over housing affordability, racial inequality and climate change. But take these laws away, many homeowners fear, and their property values and quality of life will suffer. The changes, opponents in Minneapolis have warned, amount to nothing less than an effort to “bulldoze” their neighborhoods.

Today the effect of single-family zoning is far-reaching: It is illegal on 75 percent of the residential land in many American cities to build anything other than a detached single-family home.

 

PASADENA AREA HOUSING AND HOMELESS RESOURCES INCLUDING FAITH-BASED SERVICES

3 May

Homeless Resources

Resources for Renters 

Homeownership Resources

Food Resources-Community Meals

Recovery Resources

 

Homeless Resources

  • Info Line for those experiencing homelessness: 211

Foothill Unity Center

Contact Phone: Pasadena – 626-584-7420 Monrovia – 626-358-3486

Website: http://foothillunitycenter.org

About:  The Foothill Unity Center assists clients in three key ways: food, case management/crisis help, and access to health care resources. All services are free. To be eligible, clients must only live within the Center’s eleven-city service area and have an income at or below 150% of the national poverty level.

The Women’s Room at Friends In Deed- The Women’s Room is a daytime refuge for women who are alone and homeless or at risk. The Women’s Room offers showers and laundry facilities, a quiet place to nap, two computers and a telephone and other resources and activities. Currently the Women’s Room is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Friday: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (For showers & laundry only. No upstairs services).  Volunteers are welcome. For more information, contact Marlene Martinez at twr@friendsindeedpas.org.

The Pasadena Public Health Department

Contact Name: Angelica Palmeros, MSW (Division Manager)

Contact Phone: (626) 744-6158

Contact Email: apalmeros@cityofpasadena.net

About: The Pasadena Public Health Department has, or is in the process of developing, the following programs for those experiencing homelessness in Pasadena:

Care Navigator (Library Project) – open to all individuals experiencing homelessness, health issues, mental health and substance use. Provides intensive case management and linkage to care through the care navigator, stationed at Pasadena Central Library. Care Navigator conducts field visits at other libraries as needed.

HRSA Operation Link v2.0 – improving HIV Health Outcomes through the Coordination of Supportive Employment and Housing Services funded from 2017-

 Project Wraparound Services, located at the Jackie Robinson Center is a field based program that will conduct outreach and engagement to Transition Age Youth (TAY ages16-25) and TAY peer support groups to outreach and engage TAY who are at risk of or experiencing trauma as a result of homelessness. Will provide case management, mental health, and other supportive services. Staffing will include case managers, social workers and outreach worker.

2020.Healthy Aging and Wellness Services, located at the Jackie Robinson Center and Heritage Clinic. The program will use the Geriatrics Empowerment Model (GEM) designed to outreach, engage and house homeless older adults (55+). Staffing includes social workers, mental health clinician, housing case manager and registered nurse.

Establishing and developing a partnership with City Attorney/City Prosecutor Department, Criminal Prosecution Division to develop the implementation a judiciary system that incorporates supportive services to establish a Homeless Court Pilot Project, to support homeless residents in their efforts to make the difficult transition off the streets into the community by providing a wrap-around supportive services model.

For more info: Angelica Palmeros, MSW

Division Manager

(626) 744-6158

apalmeros@cityofpasadena.net

Social & Mental Health Division

(626) 744-6339

Hill Sides provides high quality care, advocacy, and innovative services that promote safe, permanent environments where young people can thrive. Hillsides consists of four core programs: Family Resource Centers, Residential Treatment Services, Hillsides Education Center (HEC), and Youth Moving On (YMO). Mental Health Only

 Beds for Homeless Families

  • Union Station: 626-240-4550

The 56-bed Adult Center provides homeless men and women with a safe, substance-free shelter, meals and supportive services. The Adult Center is also home to our Community Meals and Shower programs. Intake into the center is done on person Mon-Fri 7:30 am to 1:30 pm. Limited to 2 intakes daily and is based on 1st come 1st serve method. The Adult Center provides shelter, with separate dorms for men and women, meals, case management and referrals, medical and mental health services, substance abuse recovery support, employment search assistance through Sources Career Development Program, benefits advocacy, and classes in money management, self-esteem and life skills, and housing resources. Non-emergency shelter

Elizabeth House provides shelter, hope & support to homeless pregnant women and their children, as well as comprehensive program of case management, counseling, educational classes, prenatal care, and resources throughout the pregnancy and beyond. Elizabeth House is the only 501©(3) non-profit organization in the San Gabriel Valley that specifically addresses the needs of pregnant women who also have small children and who lack adequate shelter and prenatal care. All clients must be pregnant women, ages 18 and older that may or may not have children.

  • Haven House Crisis Line: 323-681-2626

Haven House is dedicated to helping abused women and their children on their way toward a life free of violence. A trained bilingual staff operates a confidential 24 hour hotline to provide crisis intervention, information, and referrals. Counselors are available 365 days a year. Operated in a confidential location of Los Angeles County, our residential program is a 30 day emergency shelter with the ability to accommodate 36 domestic violence victims and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Residents receive food, clothing and medical assistance to address their physical needs. Additionally, individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, domestic violence education, legal and social services advocacy are provided to address their emotional needs.

  • Family Promise SGV*: 626-569-0991

Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley is a nonprofit organization that was incorporated in May 2009 to provide temporary housing and other assistance to homeless families in the region. Family Promise has created a network of congregations across the western San Gabriel Valley that take turns, a week at time, housing and feeding homeless families that are admitted into the program. During the day, the children go to school, while the parents go to the Family Promise Resource Center where they receive assistance finding housing, work and social services they may need.

  • Door of Hope* Follow Prompts*: (626) 304-9130

Door of Hope is a non-profit, faith-based organization whose mission is to equip homeless families to rebuild their lives. Since 1985, they have been providing transitional housing and a restoration program especially designed for homeless families with children.  Door of Hope is one of the few places that will accept the three main family types of all sizes: Single mothers (including victims of domestic violence) with children, single fathers with children, married couples with children. There are two program sites, one in Glendale and one in Pasadena with different requirements.

  • Family Solutions Center. Call 211

The FSC is a point of entry for families who are literally homeless or at risk of being homeless and who are seeking services. The FSC staff conducts an initial assessment to determine the most appropriate housing intervention for the family. Families are then connected to services and housing options within their own community. Services provided: Standardized Assessments & Interventions including Rapid Re-housing and Prevention, Coordinated Supportive Service and Housing Plan, Connection to Crisis Housing, Connection to Community- Based Supportive Services, Housing Search and Placement, Financial Assistance for Rapid Re-Housing. To be eligible one must be, homeless or imminently at-risk of homelessness, a family consisting of one or more minor children in the legal custody of one or two adults, and income at or below 30% Area Median Income. The FSC can only accept referrals from two sources: Crisis housing providers and 211 LA County. Families seeking immediate housing assistance can call 211 LA County in order to get linked to the FSC.

Beds for Homeless Singles

  • Union Station: 626-240-4550

The 56-bed Adult Center provides homeless men and women with a safe, substance-free shelter, meals and supportive services. The Adult Center is also home to our Community Meals and Shower programs. Intake into the center is done on person Mon-Fri 7:30 am to 1:30 pm. Limited to 2 intakes daily and is based on 1st come 1st serve method. The Adult Center provides shelter, with separate dorms for men and women, meals, case management and referrals, medical and mental health services, substance abuse recovery support, employment search assistance through Sources Career Development Program, benefits advocacy, and classes in money management, self-esteem and life skills, and housing resources. Non-emergency shelter

Temporary Shelter available only during bad weather:

  •  Bad Weather Shelter

The Pasadena Bad Weather Shelter is a Friends In Deed program that provides shelter for homeless individuals and families during the winter season. For the 2013-14 season the shelter will be weather activated (40 degrees or below or 40% chance of rain) from the day after Thanksgiving until the 15th of March. The Bad Weather Shelter is located in the gymnasium of the Pasadena Covenant Church, 539 N. Lake, next to the Fire Station, and near the Gold line. The Bad Weather Shelter will not be able to accommodate families for the 2013-14 season. To find out if the shelter is open during the active bad weather season, call the Hotline, 1-888-915-8111. For all other questions, call 626-797-2402.  They do not take in families referred to Family Solutions Via 211

Additional Homeless Beds Resources, Call 211

 Resources for Renters

  • Friends In Deed Homeless Prevention Program*

Contact Name: Marlene

Contact Number: (626) 797-2402

This program provides some limited rental assistance to residents of Pasadena who are at risk of becoming homeless. For information regarding qualifications for this program or for an appointment, call Marlene at (626) 797-2402.

  • Lake Avenue Church

LAC provides crisis intervention and preventative assistance and support for those who are at-risk of eviction or are currently homeless. Our task is to “bridge the gap” for persons who are in a short-term crisis. LAC also works closely with the comprehensive range of resources available in the local community by providing prayer, guidance, mentoring, accountability, and advocacy.

For more information contact John Bowlin at 626.817.4534   Or Amara Ononiou at 626.817.4514

  • City of Pasadena Rental Assistance Program (Section 8)

The City of Pasadena Housing Department (CoPHD) administers the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program, a federally-funded program which assists very low income households obtain affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary housing. The assistance is in the form of a rental certificate or voucher which is issued to an eligible household. For more information on the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program, please call the Housing Department at (626) 744-8300. They also have a list of local affordable housing developments that you can obtain and call.

  • Pasadena Housing Search:com

Pasadena Housing Search is a free resource where people can list and search for rental properties in Pasadena and the rest of Los Angeles County.

Other resources for locating a room, apartment or home to rent or advertising such: Fuller Housing Department; Helping Hands (Lake Ave Church).

Tenants’ Rights Advocates and First Step Resources:

Pasadena Tenants Union advocates for renter rights and tenant protections from displacement caused by gentrification in Pasadena. ​​ PTU believes housing is a human right and renters have an inalienable right to safe, decent, stable and affordable housing.  PTU organizes tenant speakouts at city council, coverage by local media, and direction to additional support for tenants in crisis.  Join the monthly meetings and help advocate for yourself as a renter in Pasadena.

Monthly Meetings: 2nd Thursdays of the month, 7pm-8:30pm, open to all.

Throop Church, 300 S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena 91101

Resources and Info for Renters:  This link includes a link to your rights as a renter, form letters to your landlord, legal resource links and organizations, and info on your district and city council members.   http://www.pasadenatenantsunion.com/resources.html They  have a team of 15 folks trained to help you with tenant Landlord issues.

Local tenant advocacy group for tenants in Glendale.  GTU’s focus is on building a better livelihood for renters, which make up 60% of Glendale residents. Open to all, join GTU, and become an active member.

Meetings: 2nd and 4th Mondays 7pm-9pm   open to all.

Armenian Cultural Foundation/Youth Center (the green building)

211 W Chestnut St, Glendale, CA 91204

Local tenant advocacy group for Los Angeles City. The LA Tenants Union is a diverse, tenant-led movement fighting for the human right to housing for all.  Since LATU covers all neighborhoods in LA City, they are broken into local chapters.  See LATU’s site for meetings and locations.

Resources:  This link provides resources on eviction defense and a LATU handbook.  The information is specifically for tenants in Los Angeles only since LA has more tenant protections than Pasadena, and LA has rent control.  https://latenantsunion.org/en/resources/

 Tenants’ Rights Resources—including eviction defense

IMPORTANT NOTE: After receiving court documents in an eviction/unlawful detainer case, you must respond within 5 days. Saturday and Sunday count within the 5 days. Please do not allow this deadline to pass—even an attorney won’t be able to help you if this deadline passes!

  • Self-Help Resource Center at Pasadena Court House

This is a legal self-help center inside the courthouse in Pasadena (3rd floor).  The Self-Help Resource Center is where you can find the necessary documents you need to respond to an eviction/unlawful detainer case.  The forms include one where you must explain what happened, and one where you explain you don’t have a lot of money to pay the necessary filing fees for the response.  The workers in the self-help resource center ARE NOT LAWYERS.  They help in preparing the paperwork you need to file with the court.  They do not help you with your case.  When you finish preparing your response paperwork, a resource center worker has an attorney check it to make sure it is correct to file with the court—this attorney cannot help you with your case.  They are just checking that you can submit it with the court.  The center does do a clinic (see below), but you can access forms and form-assistance every day and time they are open (see below).

Self-Help Resource Center: 300 E. Walnut St. (Room 300, 3rd floor) Pasadena, CA 91101

Open Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Fridays 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Eviction/Unlawful Detainer Walk-In Clinic: Monday-Thursday 1:30 p.m.

Other locations in LA County, hours listed here: http://www.nlsla.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/2-2-Self-Help-Brochure-Revised-Nov-2013.pdf

The Housing Rights Center provides services including landlord-tenant counseling, housing discrimination investigation, advocacy, outreach, and education. This center conducts the Pasadena Housing Mediation program and oversees the Tenant Protection Ordinance.  The HRC will not represent tenants, this is not a legal service but a place to get information.  HRC does offer walk-in clinics around the LA area, check website for dates and locations.

Pasadena office: Jackie Robinson Center, 1020 N. Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103

626-791-0211

Los Angeles Office: 3255 Wiltshire Blvd. Suite 1150, Los Angeles, CA 90010

1-800-477-5977

To find out more information regarding one of the clinics, you must call and leave a message.  In addition to clinics, they hold office hours when possible, but you must call in advance to schedule an appointment.  For qualifying low-income tenants CLA-LA offers free 60-90 minute consultations at their legal clinics with legal teams led by licensed California attorneys.  They provide advice on a wide range of legal issues, including family law, criminal expungements, housing, small claims, immigration, and estate planning.  They also help reviewing paperwork and filling out forms so that you have a Personalized Action Plan with steps to take on your own.

Office: 333 West Florence Avenue, Inglewood, CA 90301-1103

NOTE: Legal Clinics are offered at various locations and dates.  Please call 323-319-3559 and leave a message for further information and dates.  You can also see upcoming clinic dates here, but you still must call before attending: http://www.cla-la.org/events.html

Inquilinos Unidos is dedicated to empowering low-income tenants through community organizing, education and advocacy to fight for safe, decent and affordable housing in Los Angeles.  They offer tenant clinics and referrals for housing issues if they are not able to assist.

1709 W. 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017     213-483-7497

  • Tenant Resource Clinics: Mondays: 4:00pm – 6:30 pm

Walk-in hours every Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. No appointment is necessary.  Donations requested of $25 or more but no one is turned away due to lack of funds.

All clinics are open to the general public.

NLSLA works to preserve affordable housing and rent control, prevent unlawful evictions and foreclosures, and fight discrimination in Section 8 and other government-subsidized housing. Attorneys provide a range of services, from advice and counsel to individual representation and high-impact litigation.

Offices:

Address: 1102 East Chevy Chase Drive, Glendale, CA 91205 Phone: 1-800-433-6251

Address: 13327 Van Nuys Blvd, Pacoima, CA 91331,              Phone:  818-485-0913

Address: 3629 Santa Anita Avenue, El Monte, CA 91731        Phone: 1-800-433-6251

  • The Eviction Defense Network (EDN)

A network of trial lawyers, advocates and tenants dedicated to defending the right to affordable housing and ensuring access to justice in housing matters to tenants in Los Angeles County. EDN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance and representation to tenants facing eviction.

El Eviction Defense Network, (EDN), La Red de Defensa Contra Desalojos, es una red de abogados, partidarios e inquilinos dedicados a defender el derecho a viviendas económicas y asegurar el acceso de inquilinos a justicia en asuntos relacionados a viviendas  en el Condado de Los Angeles.  EDN es una organización 501 (c) (3) no lucrativa que provee asistencia legal y representación a inquilinos que se enfrentan con el desalojo.)

Downtown Los Angeles office: 1930 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 208, Los Angeles, CA 90057

213-385-8112

Free consultations taken on a first come, first-served walk-in basis: Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Basta provides low income households in Los Angeles County access to justice through non-profit eviction defense and housing rights.  In addition to eviction defense and housing rights, Basta also provides low-cost, non-profit immigration attorneys to Los Angeles County individuals and families.

Downtown Los Angeles office:

1545 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 600, Los Angeles, CA 90017 Phone: 213-736-5050

Offices also located in Long Beach, Lancaster, Van Nuys.

Walk-ins welcome, hours 9:30am-7:00pm

CES is dedicated to organizing low to moderate income people to win social and economic justice.  They assist tenants with living conditions, unjust evictions, and protecting against gentrification.

Office: 514 Shatto Place, Suite 270, Los Angeles, California 90020

213-252-4411       contactces@earthlink.net

Tenants Rights Legal Clinics: Wednesdays 7pm; Saturdays 10am

Clinics conducted at Plummer Park Community Center 7377 Santa Monica Blvd, LA 90046

Arrive on time!  Late arrivals  cannot be guaranteed they will be counseled.  One-On-One Counseling at the clinic where tenants have the opportunity to receive individual counseling and advice from a CES staff of volunteer attorneys and counselors.  There are no income restrictions or other requirements to receive assistance.  Please bring all relevant documents.

Donations are requested for assistance provided.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles lafla.org

Assists tenants with various housing issues such as eviction defense, slum housing, veteran housing, subsidized housing.  Many languages offered.  Offices also in Long Beach, Santa Monica, and South LA.

General Information,  English/Español 1-800-399-4529

Hours: Mon.-Fri.9 a.m.-12 noon

Office: Ron Olson Justice Center 1550 W. 8th Street, Los Angeles, 90017

East LA Office: 5228 Whittier Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90022

Providing legal assistance to the most vulnerable.

North Hollywood Office: 12821 Victory Blvd. North Hollywood, CA 91606

818-769-0136

  • Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)    saje.net

A grassroots, non-profit group focusing on tenants rights, healthy housing, and equitable development. SAJE’s bi-weekly Tenant Clinic provides free education and assistance for community residents.  SAJE assists residents with questions about their tenant rights, assist in filing habitability complaints, and provide support as they work to resolve disputes with landlords.

Tenant ClinicsTuesdays 4:00pm-7:00pm SAJE office   213-745-9961

152 W.32nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

2nd and 4th Thursdays 10:30am to 12:30pm    Magnolia Place

1910 Magnolia Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

 How to note code violations:

The Pasadena City Citizen Service Center is where to go if you think there are safety or code violations in your rental.  You can submit online: https://www.cityofpasadena.net/citizen-service-center/submit-a-request/

Or call 626-744-4633

Note to tenants: keep all materials you send to the City and the City sends to you.  Telling your landlord of health and safety issues, even in writing, is not enough in court.  Keep ALL exchanges between you and your landlord also.  You need to prove you contacted either LA County or Pasadena City. 

Homeless Youth

Youth Moving OnHillsides: (323) 254-2274  Hillsides has a youth drop in center at 456 East Orange Grove Blvd., Suite 140
Pasadena, CA 91104.  (626) 765-6956 Thomas Lee is the Division Director of Transition-Aged Youth Services. They provide housing and many services to youth, especially emancipated foster youth. Hillsides is a premier provider dedicated to improving the overall well-being and

Homeownership Resources

HUD certified organizations that provide first time home buyers down-payment assistance, foreclosure prevention counseling, financial literacy training and more for the San Gabriel Valley area:

  •  Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County (NHS): toll-free at 888-895-2NHS or 888-895-2647

Los Angeles County (NHS)   serves as a catalyst for local residents, business and government representatives to work together to build stronger neighborhoods, improve the quality of life for low to moderate income families of modest means and to revitalize communities into neighborhoods of choice. NHS provides programs in Homeownership Promotion and Preservation (Financial Education), Affordable Mortgage Lending, Construction Services and Management, Mission-Driven Real Estate Services, and Neighborhood Revitalization and Advocacy. NHS strengthens communities through the development and maintenance of quality affordable housing, creation and preservation of affordable homeownership opportunities, support of local leaders, providing financial education and increasing the financial independence of families and people in need.

Los Angeles County (NHS) has catapulted from a small local housing agency to the largest, non-profit affordable homeownership provider in Southern California. NHS is part of the NeighborWorks® America national network.  NHS delivers its programs and services through a business-like approach in the following five program areas:

  • Financial Education
  • Affordable Mortgage Lending
  • Construction Services and Management
  • Mission-Driven Real-estate Services
  • Neighborhood Revitalization and Advocacy

NHS L.A. County – 3926 Wilshire Blvd., #200, Los Angeles, CA 90010 – 213-381-2862

Center for Sustainable Communites – 1051 W. Rosecrans Ave., Compton, CA 90222 –

424-2963521

http://www.nhslacounty.org/contact

  • Montebello Housing Development Corporation (MHDC): 323-722-3955

The Montebello Housing Development Corporation seeks to assist individuals and families who are of modest financials means to secure affordable housing. To assist to this goal they provide programs such as homebuyer education classes, second mortgage loans programs, homeownership seminars, and foreclosure assistance.

  • HHP- Heritage Housing Partners: 626- 403-HOME(4663)

608 N Fair Oaks Ave #126

Pasadena, Ca 91103

provides affordable homeownership and first time homebuyers orientations http://www.hhphousing.org/

  • FACE-LA/KCCD: Phone: 213-985-1500 Fax: 213-478-0930

3550 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 736

Los Angeles, CA 90010  Email: info@kccd3300.org

Programs offered: API Jobs Initiative, Homeownership, Foreclosure Prevention, Financial Literacy, Mental Health And Homelessness

  • Pasadena Water and Power: 626 744-6970

Pasadena Water and Power provides a number of rebates and incentives to homeowners for energy efficiency, water efficiency. Similar incentives are available to multi-family residential customers.

  •  Under One Roof-Collaborative of LANHS, Water and Power, and Grid Alternatives: 626-744-6970

Designed specifically for low- to moderate-income families, this new partnership provides money-saving programs and low or no interest loans that help Pasadena residents buy, keep, and revitalize their homes.  GRID Alternatives provides low or no cost solar energy systems.

  • Maintenance Assistance and Services to Homeowners (MASH): 626-744-7620

http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Housing/MASH/

Maintenance Assistance and Services to Homeowners (MASH) consists of men and women in a unique training program who provide numerous services to home owners as well as business owners and city departments.  Services provided by MASH include the following:

  • Emergency/Disaster Response Assistance
  • Mash Plus Program
  • Minor Home Repair such as painting the exterior of homes, replacing broken windows, rodent proofing repair screens, and yard work.
  • NATHA
  • Training Opportunities
  • Summer Rose Program

MASH QUALIFICATIONS: 

MASH is available free for qualified applicants. Qualification is based on the following criteria: Applicant must be owner/occupant of single family residence (renter occupied or multi-family residences are not eligible), must be residents of the City of Pasadena, must meet the financial criteria imposed by the Federal Government, Housing and Urban Development Department.(HUD)

  • The Pasadena Village: 626-765-6037

The Pasadena Village is an intentional community for seniors who want to remain independent. The Pasadena Village maintains a small office with a director and a diverse group of volunteers. Members of the community share activities and help each other with service requests. Village- approved volunteers and service providers are also available to help members. The Pasadena Village services the city Pasadena and the adjacent communities. Members can be as young as 55. Services such as help moving furniture, referrals to vetted contractors, local transportation, appointment accompaniment, minor home repair/maintenance, brief house-sitting services, are available. Income based organization fees less than 32,000 annually fee is $10.00 monthly 32,000 – 52,000 annually fee is $20 and income above that annually fee is $60.00 monthly

Rebuilding Together is the nation’s largest volunteer organization preserving and revitalizing low-income houses and communities. Rebuilding Together provides critical repairs and renovations for low-income homeowners across the United States. For almost 25 years, Rebuilding Together has provided extensive home rehabilitation and modification services to homeowners in-need.

Other services for homeowners and renters:

  • City of Pasadena Planning and Community Development Department

The Planning and Community Development Department works to maintain the economic vitality and safety of the neighborhood in Pasadena. The divisions included in this department are Building and Safety 626-744-4200, Code Compliance 626-744-4200, Cultural Affairs 626-744-7062, Planning 626-744-4009, and Public Works 626-744-4195.

Food Resources-Community Meals

  • Pasadena Presbyterian Church

Pastor Walter Conteras-  mcymusa@aol.com

PPC’s “God Loves You” Food Ministry has three different emphases.

PPC provides hot meals to several dozen people each Thursday evening.  This fills a critical need for these people, many of whom are homeless.  Your dollars make this ministry possible.

We provide “take-away sacks” for homeless people who come on Sunday and during the week to the church office.  You may donate money, or any of the following: granola bars, power bars, power drinks, small bottled water, apples, oranges, or canned food with easy-to-open pop-tops.

Members of PPC also serve a meal once a month at Union Station with PPC providing the food.

  • The Pantry at Friends In Deed

The Pantry at Friends In Deed serves supplemental food to 200 low-income and homeless households each week. To contact the pantry directly, call 626-797-6072 or email pantry@ecpac.net. The only requirements for receiving food are identification for each member of the family and proof of low-income status. The Pantry is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10AM-3PM. Registration is on Wednesdays between 10AM and 12 noon.

  • Food-n-things: 951-768-0840

Food-n-Things welcomes anyone in need or homeless in the Pasadena community to come and receive food, donated clothing, counseling, emergency needs as well as spiritual needs.

Pasadena Community  Christian Fellowship

500 S. Pasadena, Pasadena, CA 91105

  • Food for Faith -Pasadena Church of God*: 626-794-2951

404 E. Washington Blvd,

Pasadena, CA 91104
Meals: Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6pm

Saturdays in Central Park at 4:00pm

  •  Jackie Robinson Center: 626-744-7300.

1020 North Fair Oaks Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91103

Meals Thursdays 5pm-7pm

  • Villa Park Community Center: 626-744-6530

363 E Villa St.

Pasadena, CA 91101

Meals Thursdays 5pm-7pm

  • All Saints Church: 626-796-1172

132 N. Euclid Ave.

Pasadena CA, 91101

Meals Mondays 9am-11am

  • Grant Park

232 S. Michigan Ave.

Pasadena, CA 91107

Meals Mondays 6:30pm

  • First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena: 626-351-9631

3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91107

Meals Sunday 10am

  • Lake Avenue Church

393 N. Lake Ave

Pasadena, CA 91101

 Every Sunday (except the 1st and 5th)

  • First AME Pasadena also now offers food.

Recovery Resources

  • Walter Hoving Home*: 626-405-0950

The Walter Hoving Home is a residential spiritually-based home. It is a non-profit organization serving women ages 18 and over who have been involved in drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution and other life-controlling problems. The 6 or 12 month program is geared to rebuilding broken lives in an atmosphere of warmth, trust, support and love.

  • Impact: (866)-734-4200

Impact is a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Pasadena. Impact seeks to provide a continuum of care including a 130 bed residential campus, two outpatient clinics, two in-custody programs, and four transitional living residences.

* denotes faith-based organization

 

 

History of the Greater Pasadena Area Housing Group

3 May

The Early beginnings to present (1995-2019)

During the 1980s and 1990s, housing costs and eviction rates soared across the country because of the Savings and Loans crisis.  Many grassroots nonprofits and advocacy groups were formed at this time to address the growing need for affordable housing throughout the US.  In Pasadena, Affordable Housing Action (AHA), an advocacy group with Quaker roots, was birthed during this period. This was the forerunner of GPAHG.

AHA had their first meeting at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) office which was then located on North Fair Oaks Avenue. AHA met monthly to address the need for affordable housing in Pasadena. AHA was committed to the production and preservation of quality, appropriate, affordable housing with priority on the most vulnerable populations of low to no-income residents, and the dispersal of this housing throughout the city of Pasadena.

AHA identified their first official advocacy initiative in 1995 when A.B. 1164, also known as the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, was passed. This bill enabled owners in rent-controlled communities to establish their own rental rates after occupancy changes. To achieve stability in housing costs, AHA began to advocate for rent control in Pasadena, without success. (In 2017 this cause was taken up by the Pasadena Tenants Union and continues to be supported by GPAHG, with much more promising prospects).

In 2000, AHA changed its name to the Pasadena Affordable Housing Group (PAHG) and was no longer officially affiliated with the AFSC. In 2006, PAHG decided to expand its work to the San Gabriel Valley and changed its name to GPAHG—Greater Pasadena Affordable Housing Group.

In 2017, after twenty years of successful advocacy as a grassroots organization, with no paid staff, GPAHG began to feel the need to explore becoming a nonprofit to expand its efforts. In 2018, GPAHG became incorporated under Making Housing and Community Happen, utilizing the fiscal sponsorship of Social Good.

In 2018 GPAHG’s core leadership team voted to become faith-rooted in its approach. GPAHG is not exclusive to only one faith—all are welcome and respected, including those who are not religious. GPAHG is not shy about its Quaker and Christian roots, but neither does it minimize another’s faith or motivation.  GPAHG is founded on the belief in a God of justice and that with God all things are possible.  GPAHG urges its members and the city to dream and imagine a community where all are adequately housed.  It takes faith to believe that such housing can happen. It takes faith to believe that the hearts and minds of decision makers can be changed by the power of a loving God. GPAHG is committed to the redemption of the city, both its systems and its decision-makers.

Currently, GPAHG has an estimated 20 members. Over the years, GPAHG has been comprised of a diverse membership consisting of retired planning commissioners, retired city planners, lawyers, architects, nonprofit directors, pastors, caseworkers, former homeless individuals, and long-term advocates at the local and state levels.

In its twenty-year history, GPAHG, in collaboration with community partners twice GPAHG has employed tools like affordable housing bus tours and candidates’ forums. Bus tours served to dispel myths about affordable housing when people could see its high quality and how it serves not only to provide sorely needed affordable housing but also to beautify communities. Candidates forums have served to educate the city council, commissions, and Pasadena residents on policies that enable or incentivize affordable housing within the city.  At candidate forums, key questions are asked, with candidate starting their positions on specific housing issues. Forums take place before elections, and in public venues, thereby holding elected officials accountable to what they have stated. These are excellent organizing tools, but most of GPAHG work is done in small groups: researching issues, meeting one-on-one with stakeholders and elected officials, building consensus around a position on an issue, then gathering up crowds among a broad cross section of the city and especially the support of congregations, weigh in, strengthen and support the findings, and share talking points at public meetings.  Below you will read of key campaigns, wins and losses that that have shaped what GPAHG is today.

Inclusionary: A Powerful win for affordable housing! (2001-2010)

In 2001, PAHG was part of a citywide advocacy effort to pass an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, which requires developers to set aside a certain percentage of their units as affordable when they build more than 10 units. As of March 2019, this ordinance has resulted in the creation of 577 affordable housing units at no cost to the city by requiring that 15% of all new housing include affordable units. (Because the ordinance required only a 6% set aside during its first year, many developers in Old Pasadena quickly pulled permits to take advantage of this.)

In 2010, reading the local Star News, GPAHG learned of an 800-unit proposal, the largest ever in Pasadena. GPAHG called Sares Regis, the developer, who was eager to meet to gain community support, and a meeting was set. At this meeting GPAHG asked if they were planning to pay the in-lieu fee or include 15% of units as affordable. When they responded that they would supply only moderate-income units on site, GPAHG stated that it supported only lower income units. In a follow up meeting two weeks later, Sares Regis decided to provide all very-low income units and go above the 15% required to 20%, resulting in 96 very-low-income units spread throughout their luxury development.

This TOD-Transit Oriented Development is smart growth at is its finest, undoing exclusionary practices, creating affordable housing indistinguishable from the luxury units, all within a few minutes’ walk to job-rich Old Pasadena, and a few more minutes’ walk to the metro station.

Many residents fear or oppose more traffic, often equating it with higher density housing. Surprisingly, higher density and affordable housing often lower traffic if the units are near jobs and transportation alternatives. This was the case with Westgate. Their traffic study was questioned, causing the city to make them redo it, with the same positive results.  With proximity to the metro, offering shared electric vehicles, zip cars and other traffic mitigation efforts, traffic at and around Westgate has been greatly reduced. Sares Regis has won green builder awards with their strong commitment to green building: http://www.sares-regis.com/SRG-Green-Overview

Not all developers are as generous as Sares Regis, opting to include all very-low income units.  Holly Street Apartments is the only other development with 20% of the units set aside as affordable.  To prevent the set aside units from being 100% moderate, GPAHG helped to change the Inclusionary Ordinance so that only 5% could be moderate and the rest either low or very low-income units. GPAHG also played a role in helping the city to increase the in-lieu fee option, so that is would cover a higher percent of the affordability gap. To date, this fee is still too low. In 2016, the housing department conducted a nexus study demonstrating that the fee should be increased by up to four times. In 2019, the City Council will consider increasing this fee. You will read more about inclusionary below.

Granny Flat and Down-Zoning setbacks! (2003)

In 2003 PAHG experienced a major setback in response to AB 1866.This state law made it possible once again to build granny flats (Accessory Dwelling Units or ADUs) behind homes throughout the state, but unfortunately it also allowed cities to create their own ordinances. Cities across the state began to pass restrictive ADU ordinances to prevent AB 1866 from being implemented. Pasadena’s passed one of the more restrictive policies. GPAHG felt it was prepared with 21 pastors standing strong until after midnight, with powerful stories, solid talking points with reasonable requests of allowing detached granny flats on 7,500 sf lots. But after midnight the City Council found a way to do the opposite, passing a highly restrictive ADU ordinance that required a minimum lot size of 15,000 sq. ft. Additionally, the city added the unusual requirement of a two-car garage for one of these small units. Furthermore, these units could not to be visible from the street, and no ADUs could be allowed more than 500 feet from any other ADU. As a result of so many restrictions, only ADU was built in 15 years! Nevertheless, GAHG remained committed to granny flats. Fifteen years later, thanks to a new state law, new city ordinances were passed to enable granny flats to be built in Pasadena, as will be explained later.

In addition to trying to restrict ADUs, the City Council began down zoning major sections of the city, posing further challenges to the creation of affordable housing. PAHG joined an effort to prevent downzoning on Los Robles between Orange Grove and Washington, whereby the zoning capacity would be cut in half, from 32 units per acre to 16 units per acre. This is not good news for affordable housing. Such low densities greatly limit housing development capacity, typically preventing affordable units. Even with 300 strong at the City Council in support of retaining the existing 32 units per acre, the neighborhood associations prevailed. But GPAHG did not give up and is still committed to higher density and smart growth.

Turning a Military Base to Affordable Housing (2005-2006)

In 2005, the Desiderio Army Reserve Center under the famous Colorado Street bridge was declared surplus by the United States Army. GPAHG researched and found that housing for homeless veterans was supposed to be a priority use when bases close. GPAHG showed up at each public meeting to remind the City Council of this priority. They also reminded the community that the development capacity on this site of 70 units could go a long way in meeting a very real need to address homelessness.  After the City went through many lengthy public hearings, the Department of Defense (DOD) and HUD-(Housing and Urban Development) initially rejected the city’s proposed use because it lacked any homeless housing. Reworking the proposal, the city was able to use units for homeless housing at Centennial Place to satisfy federal requirements.

Habitat proposed building affordable housing on the Desiderio site. GPAHG chose to support Habitat’s proposal with the strong support of many churches and ECPAC—the Ecumenical Council of Pasadena Area Churches. (ECPAC is now Friends in Deed). Today this site has nine beautiful Habitat homes, with three for veterans, and a neighborhood park in the works. See: http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/habitats-desiderio-project-set-to-open-nine-fortunate-families-to-move-in-during-june/#.XI2IfihKhHw

In 2006, PAHG decided to expand its work to the San Gabriel Valley and changed its name to GPAHG—Greater Pasadena Affordable Housing Group.

Advocating for the Displaced Disabled, Elderly (2007)

In 2007, GPAHG became aware that a developer named Singoli purchased Pasadena Manor and was evicting 157 elderly and disabled residents to make way for the Constance Hotel. With the support of Unite Here, and the sad yet powerful stories of displaced residents, GPAHG made this front-page news and repeatedly filled the council chambers with people demanding that if Singoli were to receive $11 million in federal revitalization funds, they should pay relocation costs for the displaced residents and the city’s living wage for hotels workers. Repeated city council meetings took place with no decision to honor any of GPAHG’s requests, and the deadline passed to submit the proposal for federal funds. GPAHG successfully prevented federal dollars from being used to make a luxury hotel that was displacing long term elderly residents, but more importantly, GPAHG worked with a lawyer that enabled many of the elderly residents eventually received relocation costs.See:http://www.peterdreier.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Poverty_living_at_luxury_prices.pdf

 Housing Department formed, inclusionary housing muLtiplied (2008-2019)

In 2008, GPAHG successfully advocated for Pasadena to create a Housing Department separate from the Planning Department. This has enabled a much higher production of affordable housing. For example, not only have 577 units been created through the inclusionary housing ordinance, but over 690 additional units have been created or preserved through leveraging fees that developers have an option to pay in lieu of including affordable units.

In 2018 the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance was up for review. A GPAHG subcommittee spent a year studying ways to strengthen this complex ordinance. They decided to advocate for retaining the in-lieu fee option (at a much higher rate) since it is the only locally generated funding source for affordable housing. If affordable housing developers are approved for a project in Pasadena, they often apply for and receive in lieu funding from the city. They can then leverage this seed money anywhere up to 3-8 times to build out the funding needed to complete the project.

GPAHG is also recommending that Pasadena consider following the example of Chicago: there, if a developer wishes to pay a fee in lieu of building affordable units, they can apply the fee option to only half of the units set aside to be affordable, while the other half must be included on site. GPAHGs inclusionary team has proposed this option and other key points that would strengthen this ordinance. Additionally, they are recommending that the 15% set aside is doubled in TOD sites, ¼ mile around Transit Oriented Developments. Santa Monica and Hawaii have 30% set asides for their larger developments and Metro requires 35% of their land be for affordable housing. There are many other recommendations that GPAHG’s Inclusionary team has been proposing to the Planning Commission, the Housing and Planning Departments and the City Council. See: https://makinghousinghappen.net/2019/03/22/inclusionary-housing-proposal-from-the-greater-pasadena-affordable-housing-group/Once the city has conducted a feasibility study, it likely be voted on in mid-2019.

The “Greater Pasadena” part of GPAHG is finally coming to pass with several Monrovia residents joining the Inclusionary team to learn how to move forward in passing an inclusionary ordinance for their city.

 GPAHG Helps Pasadena Craft an Award-Winning Housing Element (2013-2021)

Over the years GPAHG has also played a pivotal role in shaping Pasadena’s Housing Elements (HE). This is a comprehensive document which plans for enough housing for all income levels and must be submitted to the state every 4-8 years.  The key word is plan. With the severe shortage of affordable housing, the state is adding more teeth to foster more accountability so that cities will implement these plans.

Only one public body in the city discussed affordable housing: the Economic Development and Technology Subcommittee of the City Council. GPAHG’s efforts to add an affordable housing commission to the city has not yet materialized, but the Planning Commission now plays the role of implementing the Housing Element. Their agenda is quite full, so the HE has not received the attention it deserves. But some added support was won by requiring the Planning Commission to devote at least two of their meetings a year to affordable housing. GPAHG also garnered support for the Housing Department to have two workshops a year on some aspect of affordable housing. Topics have included: ADUs, a debate on the pros and cons of a housing commission, and ideas for additional funding sources.

These extra city-based supports have been appreciated, but don’t go far enough. Thankfully, the state is starting to hold cities accountable for reaching their housing goals. Often cities simply say they don’t have the funding for affordable housing so it can’t be done. But groups like LA Voice with Faith in Action didn’t allow this to be a reason not to build affordable housing. In 2017 they organized their 58 member congregations to pass a quarter cent sales tax, Measure H, which provided the needed funding for permanent supportive housing, which ends homelessness. The challenge now it to get land use approvals so the funding can be accessed.

In 2014 GPAHG in partnership Public Council wrote a 21-page detailed analysis of Pasadena’s Housing Element. This included vetting every proposed site where affordable housing could be built. GPAHG visited each site and determined if affordable housing was feasible there.

GPAHG also advocated for the creation of some additional housing goals, which were included. For example, the innovative idea to “study options to change the tenant protection ordinance and for options for preserving non-deed restricted affordable housing by 2016” (p. A-32 of the 2013-2021 Housing Element). GPAHG felt that good landlords charging reasonable rents should be incentivized, perhaps with some green features in exchange for reasonable rents. While this out-of-the box idea made it into to the approved HE, it still needs to be thoroughly studied and implemented. Perhaps in 2019 this will finally take place, four years after the deadline.

GPAHG advocated for these deadlines in order to keep the city accountable to its commitment to create affordable housing. One year, at the ninth hour, GPAHG asked the HDC—the state’s Housing and Urban Development Department—to send the HE back to have deadlines added to many of the goals before it would be approved. Too many of the goals were “ongoing,” which would roll into the next HE 4-8-year cycle and not be addressed. For example, studying granny flats had been pushed into the next Housing Element cycle several times. Today, due to GPAHG’s effort, there are many more deadlines.

Many in GPAHG believe that its efforts were at least partly responsible for this HE winning a Planning Award of Merit for Focused Issue Planning by the California-Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association. Additionally, this Housing Element, alongside Austin, TX, won the 2014 Larson Housing Policy Leadership Award for Best Housing Element by the Urban Land Institute’s Tewillinger Center for Housing.  GPAHG continually participates at city council meetings to encourage the goals of the Housing Element are met and implemented.  See: https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/planning/wp-content/uploads/sites/56/2017/07/Adopted-Housing-Element-2014-02-04.pdf

GPAHG Holds Fuller Seminary Accountable for Affordable Housing and Spurs a Stronger Tenant Protection Ordinance [TPO] (2014-present)

In 2014, GPAHG was alerted to Fuller Seminary’s sale of 197 student housing units to Carmel Partners, a luxury builder. By so doing it broke their 20-year Fuller Master Plan (MP) agreement with the city, which was adopted in 2006 and stated that all housing within its MP was to be used for affordable student housing. GPAHG sought to retain this agreement in multiple ways—first, by seeking to apply AB 2222, whereby a unit in which a lower income person had lived within the past five years had to be replaced in the new development. This law only applied to developments asking for a density bonus. The AB 1818 state Density bonus law allows up to 35% more units in a development if very-low income units are included, overriding existing allowed densities. Additionally, Pasadena allows an additional 50% density bonus in the central district to encourage new development away from single family neighborhoods. Typically, these are attractive tools to incentivize developers to provide affordable units. But Carmel Partners were not interested in taking advantage of this bonus, so none of the 197 lower income units were replaced. This was a huge loss and missed opportunity since this site is ideal for higher density housing.

Upon learning that no Fuller student displaced by the sale to Carmel Partners qualified to receive relocation costs, GPAHG began to research how to strengthen Pasadena’s TPO—Tenant Protection Ordinance. They found that the TPO was protecting landlords more than tenants. GPAHG discovered a loophole that was preventing relocation costs from being paid: Only those tenants with leases qualified for relocation funds, so landlord would simply change the tenancy to month-to-month, enabling them to bypass paying for relocation cost. Finally, in 2017, after a year of one-on-one meetings with staff and City Council members, letters and reminders, the City Council unanimously approved that all tenants in good standing living in households at or below 140% of the median income would be paid a relocation allowance equal to two months fair market rents as established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) for a rental unit of a similar size.

After an entire apartment complex was evited due to dramatically increased rents, in 2019, the city is again updated the TPO to determine if the city will vote to provide relocation costs in if rents are increased above a certain percent. GPAHG partners are working on this.

In 2019, GPAHG organized a prayer vigil on the Fuller Campus for another housing issue. On MLK Day, with close to 100 in attendance, pastors and leaders asked God to preserve Chang Commons, with 169 affordable student housing units, which are supposed to be preserved under Pasadena’s inclusionary policy. See: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/fuller-theological-seminary-wants-to-profit-from-gentrification_us_58fe9c92e4b0f02c3870edc7

Anti-camping Ordinance was fought and GPAHG won! (2016)

 In 2015 there was a significant rise in laws criminalizing homeless people in California, but these laws have only worsened, not solved, the problem. UC Berkeley Law’s Policy Advocacy Clinic conducted an extensive study of this problem in 2015 and concluded that “criminalization harms homeless people and perpetuates poverty by restricting access to the social safety net, affordable housing, and employment opportunities.” http://www.homelesslivesmatterberkeley.org/pdf/CA_New_Vagrancy_Laws.pdf

A member of the city council initially felt that by making it illegal for homeless individuals to be on the streets, it would help businesses and the address homelessness. After GPAHGs Anti-Camping team met to do research, crafted talking points and presented their findings to the City Council, the Council decided not to pass this pernicious ordinance. This was a big win for GPAHG, garnering respect from many key players when they heard the excellent research that we done and the caliber of stake holders who so effectively presented their points. See: https://makinghousinghappen.net/2019/03/22/anti-camping-ordinance-talking-points/

After 15 Years, a Reasonable Granny Flats Ordinance is Approved! (2017)

With 58,000 homeless people counted in LA County in 2017 alone, and a severe housing shortage statewide, state lawmakers saw that one way to address this crisis would be to ease restrictions on granny flats, otherwise known as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). GPAHG’s ADU subcommittee worked tirelessly with the state and local players, including AARP and many churches, gathering up stories of how ADUs would help families grow, college ages children have independence or the elderly affordably age in place, preventing displacement. Additionally, Chase Andre, a Fuller intern with GPAHG, was able to identify 740 legal ADUs, built prior to Pasadena’s overly restrictive 2003 ordinance. With the help of Phil Burns, a city planner on GPAHG’s team, plotted all 740 ADUs on a map of Pasadena so that statistics on crime, the number of parked cars, property values, traffic and other factors could be compared with adjacent streets that had no ADUs. Opponents were saying that ADUs would destroy single-family neighborhoods. The results showed that there was on impact in any of these areas on streets with a high number of ADUs: See: https://makinghousinghappen.net/?s=comparative+analysis&submit=Search

With such diligent research, steady persistence, and the power of a cohesive team and the help of the state policy causing cities to relax their strict rules, Pasadena’s overly restrictive policies were overturned, and a more reasonable local ordinance is now in place. Today any single-family homeowner can convert their garage into an ADU, no matter their property size, or build an attached or detached ADU if their property size in 7,200 sf. Whereas only one ADU was built between 2001 and 2017, since 2017, 40 ADUs have been completed with 13 set aside with either an affordable covenant or rented to a Section 8 tenant. Thankfully, GPAHG also succeeded in preventing the $20,000 impact fee from being applied not only to ADUs for lower income folks, but also for family members. See: https://ww5.cityofpasadena.net/planning/accessory-dwelling-unit-regulations/

 GPAHG Successfully Advocates for Homeless Housing (2018)

In 2018, GPAHG successfully advocated for the approval of 69 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless seniors at Heritage Square South after a nine month campaign that included several prayer vigils; religious leaders participating in an all night stay on the site with some of those experiencing homelessness; close to 1,000 letters sent to City Council; and packing public meetings with key community leaders and pastors sharing compelling talking points. On Dec 17th, the City Council not only approved these units, Mayor Tornek surprised everyone with his recommendation to use the vacant city-own YWCA for homeless housing.  This historic landmark was designed by the famous architect Julia Morgan (who also designed the Hearst Castle).  This is GPAHG’s 2019 campaign, in addition to seeking to house some of Pasadena’s 677 homeless neighbors counted in 2018, in motels converted to homeless housing.  GPAHG has strongly supported the 2018 ordinance that facilitates the conversion of motels by doing community engagement in East Pasadena, where many motels are located and where there is rampant NIMBYism. See: https://laquaker.blogspot.com/2018/12/pasadena-city-council-approves-homeless.html

 GPAHG was not ready for Rent control in 1995 but it is today

 In 1995 Pasadena was not ready for rent control but in 2017, thanks to the Pasadena Tenants Union, there was tremendous support for rent stabilization: they came close to getting it on the ballot by collecting over 10,000 signatures.  (This support surpassed the 8,200 votes garnered by the Mayor, who opposes rent control.) In 2018, over 54% of Pasadenans voted for the state Prop 10 ballot measure, which would have allowed cities to have rent control if passed. PTU will try another local initiative in 2020, with support from GPAHG.

 

 

PLATFORM FOR THE GREATER PASADENA AFFORDABLE GROUP (GPAHG)

22 Mar

For the past twenty years, GPAHG has used the list below as our platform. This list was collectively created within our group, but especially with the help of Michelle White, a co-founder of our group in 1995. Michelle is a tireless housing advocate. I owe much to Michelle. She is brilliant with a rare understanding of housing and housing policy.

Michelle White

Michelle has a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University, is presently Executive Director of the Affordable Housing Services, a non-profit specializing in producing units affordable for low and very low-income persons with disabilities, persons of color and families. While Executive Director of the Fair Housing Congress of Southern California, Michelle supervised five Los Angeles County fair housing agencies, looking at violations of state and federal land use, redlining and fair housing laws.  She was a civil rights assistant to the federal regulator of national banks and among experts that drafted California fair housing law, recognized as the strongest in the nation.

 So here is our platform.. keeping us ever on our toes to do more. Some items we have successfully completed, like our ADU ordinance, and we are working on strengthening the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance we help to get passed in 2001, but other items on this this we can only dream of at this point. 

If you wish to down load this as a PDF, here is the link:

GPAHG platform

Production of New Affordable Housing

  • Inclusionary Zoning
  • Set-aside for extremely-low income units
  • Increase in-lieu fee four time what is now.
  • Increase the affordable housing set-aside around transit corridors to 30% and 25% the rest of the city
  • Minimize down-zoning so that the right density can support affordable housing, i.e. at least 32 units per acre
  • Identify Land, Vacant city church parking lots and others parcels
  • Find ways to help landlords support section 8, end discrimination against Section 8

Increase additional funds to Housing Trust Fund

Identify new sources of funding:

  • % of sales tax revenue
  • Affordable housing bond
  • % construction tax to mitigate impacts on affordable housing needs
  • Title transfer tax
  • Parking fees
  • Parcel tax
  • Airbnb TOT (Transient Occupancy Tax)
  • Other?

Second Unit Ordinance, Granny Flats, ADU-Accessory Dwelling Units.  

  • Further Reduce minimum lot size from 7,200 s.f. and other Limiting factor ADUs from being built
  • Allow ADUs to be built over garages
  • Create a pilot project i.e. on Zanja
  • Strengthen the cities’ proposed pilot project to help fund ADUs for low-income.

Preserve Existing Affordable Housing

  • Monitor at-risk affordable buildings and be sure they don’t go market rate i.e. I the process of the Fuller Seminary sale
  • Track rents citywide and monitor affordable rents with something like Landlord Licensing
  • Create or Partner with a Community Land Trust.
  • One-for-one replacement and no-net-loss
  • Incentivize naturally occurring affordable housing by providing incentives like green features.
  • Create a Condo conversion ordinance allowing at least a third of those renting to become homeowners
  • Institute rent control/rent stabilization

 

Improve City Processes

  • Create a Permanent Affordable Housing Commission to create and implement a vision for affordable housing production and preservation via the Housing Element with stronger enforcement.
  • Identify sites for affordable housing development, including private land and excess City, County, CalTrans, PUSH and other public lands
  • Promote affordable housing projects
  • Monitor currently restricted units
  • Monitor currently affordable but non-restricted units
  • Monitor Planning Commission to ensure affordable housing projects are expedited
  • Routine analyses of impediments to affordable housing development
  • Routine analyses of impediments to fair housing choices
  • Restore varying Section 8 subsidy levels to reflect differing fair market rents in expensive sections of the City
  • Refrain from having policy determinations make by staff without the benefit of public input
  • Improve the scope of EIR (Environmental Impact Reports) to include the impact of the lack of affordable housing.

 

Education on affordable housing development, preservation and policy

  • For City Council,
  • Planning Commission
  • City staff
  • Provide ongoing tours of affordable housing

Affordable housing developers

  • Recoverable grants/advances for pre-development costs

 

Protect Tenants’ and Homeless Rights

  • Pass a Homeless Bill of Rights
  • Increase relocation benefits
  • Just cause eviction
  • Prohibit discrimination against rent subsidy recipients
  • Effective ban on retaliation or eviction on tenants who exercise their rights
  • Improved code enforcement program that improves housing quality but does not dislocate tenants
  • Rent escrow options for noncompliant buildings
  • Lead-safe work practices
  • Consequences for slumlords
  • Permanent supportive housing in every district
  • Three motels converted to homeless housing in 5 years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expand efforts beyond Pasadena to adjacent cities by partnering with groups that go beyond Pasadena’s boarders:

  • PUSD,
  • Women’s League,
  • Family Promise,
  • Habitat,
  • SCAG (Southern Cal Assoc of Governments),
  • San Gabriel Valley Council of Government
  • LA  Voice

 

General Public

  • Routinely translate policy documents into plain English and relevant languages
  • Distribute projects more evenly throughout the City
  • Inventory and monitor rents
  • Identify at-risk affordable housing and monitor for possible City intervention
  • Funding priorities should favor affordable rentals over ownership
  • community members, including those with children and with disabilities
  • Refrain from having important policy determinations made by staff
  • Hold meetings in a manner that is accessible to low income
  • Make relevant materials (including staff reports) available online
  • allow adequate opportunity to analyze (more than 72 hours) in advance

 

 

 

    

Inclusionary housing proposal from the Greater Pasadena Affordable Housing Group

22 Mar

Inclusionary helps address the urgent need for affordable housing, at no cost to the city.  Public subsidies for affordable housing are hard to come by, so asking the private market to supply a percentage of affordable units or in lieu fee to create affordable units is one of the national best practices today.  Pasadena’s inclusionary housing policies have been on the forefront, demonstrating courageous leadership by producing units despite the risk of lawsuits. This great policy can be even greater with the continued leadership of the City Council. Inclusionary policies play a fundamental role in limiting traffic and preserving the social and economic diversity within communities.

Our local housing group has been researching inclusionary policies across the country for the past year. Our research and what we feel is best for our city is outlined below. So far, we have presented it to the planning commission, the planning and housing staff, and the city council. Each public body has expressed their appreciation for our hard work, and how we operate. We hope that many of these ideas will be incorporated into the final, updated version of our local inclusionary ordinance. Thankfully, it looks like all of them have been put into the city’s feasibility study.

Summary:

1.Increase the Inclusionary set aside:

25% in all areas of the city except TOD’s. as follows:
EXTREMELY LOW: 5%     VERY LOW:5%       LOW: 7%     MODERATE: 8%   TOTAL =  25

We have done a preliminary feasibility analysis of this and the profit margin is still over 13% return, with section 8 subsidy applied to the extremely low option. The Holly Street Apartments are a good example of including some Section 8.

30% within a quarter mile of TOD’s as follows:

EXTREMELY LOW: 6%       VERY LOW: 6%                    LOW: 9%               MODERATE: 9%  TOTAL= 30%

Santa Monica and Hawaii both have 30% set aside in their policies. It is the policy of Metro that any of their land have 35% affordability. With the windfall of land cost due to increased densities, plus the significant investment of public transportation, it is only fair that a sizeable percent of TOD sites provide a higher percent of affordable units. The logical place for lower income units is in TOD sites.

The approved Pasadena Housing Element calls for the city by 2016 to explore two different set aside percentages, for TOD sites and the rest of the city. The gentrifying and displacing power of TOD sites has moved Denver and Seattle to create special funds to achieve TOAH—Transit Oriented Affordable Housing.

2. Achieve a higher percent of units and Integrated Housing, across the spectrum of Incomes.
Developers must provide a mix of units and the full percentage of set aside units. No credits, (trade downs) or lower percent of units allowed to be set aside in exchange for very-low or low-income units. Even in the case of state density bonus, the full 25% (and 30% in TOD) sites must be achieved. The mix of units must be at the various income bands as listed in Item 1 above.

  • There is one exception to this, to allow a calculation based on the number of bedrooms to accommodate more families.  This is especially important considering the decrease in PUSD enrollment. A three bedroom unit can be considered as 1.5% of a unit when calculating the overall 25% or 30% set aside.

3. Provide a broader menu of incentives.

Allow for even less parking requirements than is already permitted in the case very low income, including exemption of any parking for extremely low income. This will also further address traffic concerns. And in the case of mixed-use complexes allow for day/night uses of shared parking spaces, especially in TODs. Provide incentives with a shared electric car and charging stations, where resident and sign-up for its use.

4. Change the policy to begin at 8 units or more and have developments of 2-7 units either provide a unit or pay a fee. Daily City, San Mateo County, Menlo Park, require the IZ to provide units in projects of 5 units or more. Burlingame, East Palo Alto and South San Francisco, require units in projects of 4 or more units. In West Hollywood, 2 – 10 Unit Projects require a fee or a unit. Santa Monica requires a fee for 2 or 3 units. Menlo Park requires that with for-sale housing, 1-3 units must pay 1% of sales price; 4-6 units 2%; and 7-9 units 3% of the sales price. Any projects with above 10 units 3% of the sales price of all units sold pay a fee. San Carlos has a similar valuation for fees at 1% for 2-6 units, and 2% above that.

5. We agree with the results of city’s nexus study that the in-lieu fee must be increased. We ask that it be adopted on Oct. 15 and done so retroactively to those projects now doing preliminary reviews will be assessed a higher fee. We believe that the new fee structure, once passed does not need to be revisited in the feasibility study. We would lose sorely needed inclusionary in lieu fee dollars by delaying this vote. But we have one caveat, that all projects opting to pay the fee, must still include at least one fourth of the full required percent of set aside units. (Chicago’s IZ is set up this way)

 Why the fee is so important: With this fee, a total of 691 affordable units (not including the 533 inclusionary units developed) have been assisted consisting of new production projects (176 units) and rehabilitation/affordability preservation projects (515 units). With an increased fee, the city can preserve and produce even more affordable units to help address the severe housing crisis, with 49% of the city spending more than 50% of their income on housing and house the 677 persons experiencing homelessness.

6. Offsite units must be built concurrently with the primary market-rate project. This is presently in the ordinance, but we want to reinforce this to allow no exceptions

7. Offsite Option: require developers to increase affordable units by an additional 25% and place the units into a newly formed Community Land Trust once developed. This will assure long term affordability. In Santa Monica, off site condos must provide 25% more units. San Carlos requires 10% more affordable units if built off site see. In Palo Alto, offsite construction is allowed only if the number of units provided offsite exceeds what they would have obtained onsite and in South SF if  furthers another housing goal identified in its Housing Element.

8. Offsite Option: require developers to increase affordable units by an additional 25% and place the units into a newly formed Community Land Trust once developed. This will assure long term affordability. In Santa Monica, off site condos must provide 25% more units. San Carlos requires 10% more affordable units if built off site see. In Palo Alto, offsite construction is allowed only if the number of units provided offsite exceeds what they would have obtained onsite and in South SF if  furthers another housing goal identified in its Housing Element.

9. Monitoring the Units The city is doing a good job of monitoring the units, but it can be burdensome and take time away from efforts to preserve and produce more affordable housing stock. Therefore we recommend that a task force be formed to explore creating a city initiated Community Land Trust (CLT) and later spin it off as was done in the city of Irvine. The benefits of a CLT are as follows:

  1. The CLT would monitor IZ rental units to assure that they remain affordable in perpetuity. Additionally the CLT will assure that ownership units remain owner-occupied, affordable and well maintained to uphold their resale value. The CLT will save the city money by taking on these responsibilities.
  2. A CLT would provide a mechanism for the homeowners and owners of affordable housing developments to place homes into the trust in order to preserve affordability in perpetuity so that when expensive covenants and HUD deals are mature, and they have been placed in the trust, these subsidies are not lost.

10. Allow units to be built in project area B. The average home price in NW Pasadena is pushing $800,000. This area no longer has an over-concentration of affordable housing, but the opposite. Due to a lack of affordable housing, long term residents are being displaced. Right now the densities in project area B are too low to allow inclusionary projects. This area either needs to be up zoned in transportation corridors so that some inclusionary projects are possible or also given the opportunity to have off site IZ projects (or both)

11. Include Condo Conversions as part of the inclusionary housing ordinance. When an apartment owner decides to convert units into for-sale condos, 30% must be affordable with first right of refusal for existing residents, and the levels of affordability determined within the 30% designed to help retain existing residents. Sufficient time to allow for credit repair, obtain down payment assistance, and other tools must be in place to assure a meaningful and genuine opportunity for existing residents to consider purchasing their unit. This helps the city to reach their goal to prevent displacement. In the case of condo conversions, on-site affordable and in lieu fees options are not applicable. Additionally, these units would not necessarily be placed into the CLT, this would be discretionary choice on the part of the apartment owner. (Page E-12 Pasadena Housing Element describes the city’s goals to wed condo conversions to the inclusionary policy in order to prevent displacement.)

Page E-10 of the Pasadena HE states that:

“…many older and modestly priced apartments are being converted to condominiums. Approximately 800 units have converted since 2001, with an increase in applications in recent years. While providing more affordable ownership opportunities, residents are still being displaced.”

 

 

Anti-camping ORDINANCE TALKING POINTS

22 Mar

In 2016 GPAHG, our local housing group, was able to stop a proposed anti-camping ordinance which would have criminalized homelessness in Old Pasadena and other business districts. Here is the research and the talking points we used in addressing the Pasadena City Council:

Anti-camping ORDINANCE TALKING POINTS

Download as a PDF here: Talking Points-Anti-camping and aggressive panhandling talking points

Causes and Consequences of Criminalizing Behaviors Associated with Homelessness

  1. Homelessness is caused by a severe shortage of affordable housing.
  1. There is a direct correlation between the cuts in funding for affordable housing and the rise of homelessness and anti-camping measures.
  • HUD’s low- to moderate-income housing budget authority fell by 77 percent between 1978 and 1983. Homelessness is primarily caused by a severe shortage of affordable housing, exacerbated by an 85% reduction in federal funding for affordable housing. Despite these cuts, two states and nineteen cities have now ended homelessness for veterans. One of the few housing programs that has not been cut is funding for permanent supportive housing. This can be access by a city if there is land set aside to build this. Margaret McAustin is the first to make sure this is built in her district. Marv’s place looks like a small Mediterranean Villa. It just won an award as one of the best permanent supportive housing in all of Southern California. We need this in very district.

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/comm_planning/veteran_information/mayors_challenge/

  1. There has been a significant rise in laws criminalizing homeless people in California, but these laws have only worsened, not solved, the problem.
  • UC BerkeleyLaw’s Policy Advocacy Clinic conducted an extensive study of this problem in 2015 and concluded that “criminalization harms homeless people and perpetuates poverty by restricting access to the social safety net, affordable housing, and employment opportunities.” Since 2000, statewide arrests for “vagrancy” offenses have increased by 77 percent, even as arrests for “drunkenness” and “disorderly conduct” have decreased by 16 percent and 48 percent, respectively, suggesting that homeless people are being punished for their status, not their behavior. http://www.homelesslivesmatterberkeley.org/pdf/CA_New_Vagrancy_Laws.pdf
  1. Criminalization measures do nothing to address the underlying causes of homelessness
  1. Pasadena could lose HUD funding to address homelessness if it is found to have criminalized homeless people. In the April 11, 2016, Bill Huang, Pasadena’s housing director was asked if this was the case and he agreed.
  1. The enforcement of anti-homeless laws is expensive, directing limited resources away from efforts that would effectively and humanely reduce homelessness.
  • At the City Council meeting on April 11th, Tyron Hampton asked Police Chief Philip Sanchez what would happen if someone was arrested for camping/sleeping. He said that after making make arrests, then going to court, and then to be checked out at Huntington Hospital, in the end they would be brought back to the streets. The expensive cost to tax payers would be better spent on permanent supportive housing for the homeless. Research shows that it costs taxpayers approximately $40,000 a year for homeless people to stay on the street, and the cost to house a homeless person about $20,000 a year. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/mar/12/shaun-donovan/hud-secretary-says-homeless-person-costs-taxpayers/7.

The enactment of anti-homeless laws raises significant moral, spiritual and legal questions about constitutional rights:

  1. It could be cruel and unusual punishment if homelessness is criminalized without providing sufficient indoor places of shelter. In April when the City Council gave the directive to the City Attorney to begin crafting this ordinance, the lawyer said that passing this new ordinance could violate the Eighth Amendment. In 2006 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held a Los Angeles municipal law that prohibited sitting, lying, or sleeping in public places violated homeless people’s Eighth Amendment right to be free from “cruel and unusual punishment” since homeless people need to sleep and rest and the city did not provide them with the means to do so. This ruling called into question CA State Municipal Code 647 (e) which states that “lodging in any building, structure, vehicle or place, whether public of private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or control of it.” Municipalities that have tried to implement this law could face law suits if they do so. Public funds created public walkways and the public should have a right to use them if the is no other legal place to rest.

 

8.    It is immoral and against God’s laws to prevent someone from shelter and rest. Within most religious teachings, including Christianity, believers are directed to protect the rights of the poor and those without a home. “A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge” (Proverbs 29:7).  “If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you” (Leviticus 25:35-36 )  See https://www.openbible.info/topics/helping_the_homeless

9.    It is against the UN International Declaration of Human Rights to prevent sleeping which is a basic human need to survive. The US was a signatory of UN Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This Declaration is not legally binding but sets a moral standard by which nations are judged and to which they are supposed to aspire. Article 25 states that “everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.” In 1949, Congress enacted the US Housing Act, which called for “a decent and suitable living environment for every American family.”  Our nation’s and our city’s aspirational goal is to provide affordable housing for everyone, not criminalize those who can’t afford housing. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_housing

Talking Points-Anti-camping and aggressive panhandling talking points: Myths and Stereotypes about Homelessness

For year’s cities and their residents have been dealing with how to respond to the realities modern homelessness and poverty. We often labelled those without a home as “the homeless” and as people who ask for money in public areas as panhandlers.  These two behaviors are separate but are often cited together by cities addressing “The Homelessness Issue”.  Cities are often prompted to respond in some manner, usually through criminalization measures, due to public complaints, demands on law enforcement and legal departments, public health and public safety concerns, which are at times perpetuated by stereotypes and improper understanding of human relations.

  1. Myth: People who beg on the street make vast amounts of money. A Pasadena police officer publicly stated that panhandlers make $200 an hour in Pasadena.

Reality: This is a rumor that has been passed around. If true, this would make Pasadena the most generous city in California. In San Francisco, a study showed that panhandlers average $25 per day.  Regardless perceptions the community has of persons who are asking for money, it is still right to free speech.

  1. Myth: “Homeless people” are “service-resistant,” because they want to live on the streets. A police officer from Pasadena’s Hope Team stated that 80% of homeless people are “service resistant” implying homeless folks prefer living on the street.

Reality: t is true that there are people who do not want to go to shelters, or be forced into treatment. Some prefer jail to a treatment center. Many suffer from mental illness or substance use issues making them wary of authorities.  With time and trust building on the part of HOPE team and Coordinated Entry System and Street Outreach teams, many are now in housing. The reason why permanent Supportive Housing is so effective is that it provides permanent housing first—bypassing the shelters and transitional housing, thus ending homelessness. Folks can enter housing, get stable and then work on their issues. One doctor who works with homeless people said that he wishes he could write a prescription an apartment and then renew it twelve times! Supportive housing doesn’t need to be renewed.

  • Pasadena has housed over 80 of the most chronically homeless and Utah has housed 90% of its chronically homeless folk using the Housing First model, which offers chronically homeless people a permanent, affordable home with wrap-around services if they are desired. With the right approach, the vast majority of homeless people are willing and able to be housed and many will seek treatment voluntarily when they are ready. http://www.npr.org/2015/12/10/459100751/utah-reduced-chronic-homelessness-by-91-percent-heres-how
  1. Myth: Recent changes to State Laws have seen the release of large numbers of former inmates from jails, and most end up homeless, leading to an increase in crime.

Reality: Thanks to Prop 57, and requirements by the Supreme Court to reduce prison crowding, California has dramatically lowered incarceration—by about 55,000 inmates since 2006—with no broad increase in crime.

  1. Myth: We need more laws to address camping on the street.

Reality: Existing laws and codes that address these behaviors. Pasadena police do not need “new tools,” i.e. more stringent laws, to protect the public from aggressive panhandlers and camping.  These current laws already provide ample protection to businesses and property owners:

  1. If anyone leaves something (e.g. a tent or sleeping bag) on someone else’s private property, the owner can toss it in the trash or sell it as abandoned property. If someone leaves their property on a publicly owned site, according to Officer Domino Scott-Jackson, police have a right to evict people from a public place using a 72 hour notice and at hour 73, their belongings can then be removed. Items must be kept in storage for 30 days. If they aren’t claimed, they can be disposed of.\
  2. Property owners have a right to put up a No Trespassing sign on their property. If someone goes on their property without permission to do so, they can call the police and the police on request of the owner can arrest the person for trespassing under Penal Code (PC) 602(o)(2).
  3. A business owner can file a “Trespass Enforcement Authorization Letter” with the police department that allows officers to make arrests of those individuals who are on the property after hours. If that letter were not on file, the officers could not request the individuals to leave or make any arrests. They would have to contact the owners every single time they find people at the property to investigate whether or not the person has permission from the owner to be there.
  4. A person can be arrested for illegal camping or lodging under Pasadena Municipal code(PMC) 3.24.110(8) and/or Penal Code(PC) 647(e)
  5. A person in possession of a shopping cart (with an identified business) could face a violation of PMC9.62.070 and PC485.
  6. Businesses and churches that are open to the public have the right to ask folks to leave under PC602(o)(2). When the owner asks someone to leave and they refuse, they can be arrested.
  7. Currently, it’s not illegal to pan-handle in Pasadena, as long as you are not blocking the driveway, impeding traffic or standing in the street (See Vehicle Code 22520.5(a) – infraction). But threatening behavior by a panhandler can be considered “accosting,” a crime according to California Penal Code Section 647.

If someone feels harassed by a pan handler, a citizen’s arrest can be made, showing that the panhandler intends to do something illegal, under code PC647(c), which addresses  aggressive panhandling.

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How to plan a One-Day Housing Justice for your community

8 Mar

How to start a Housing Justice Institute

A dark side to the California dream: How the state Constitution makes affordable housing hard to build–should we undo Article 34?

3 Feb

A dark side to the California dream: How the state Constitution makes affordable housing hard to build

A dark side to the California dream: How the state Constitution makes affordable housing hard to build

 “A 1951 hearing on public housing in Los Angeles. A year prior, Californians added to the state constitution a requirement for voter approval before the building of public housing, a provision that still exists. (Los Angeles Examiner/USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty Images)”

“In 1950, Californians voted to put a provision in the state Constitution that makes it harder for poor people to find a place to live.

Article 34, which remains in effect, requires voter approval before public housing is built in a community. At the time it passed, the real estate industry argued taxpayers should have a right to vote on low-income housing projects because they were publicly funded infrastructure similar to schools or roads. The campaign also appealed to racist fears about integrating neighborhoods and featured heated rhetoric about the need to combat socialism……”

I’d love to know what you think of this article in today’s LA Times? Do you think that article 34 should be repealed? And if so, do you think that finally, the time is right?

I was born in 1953, three years after this provision was passed. I was raised in Yorba Linda, CA a predominately all white community with large lots and no zoning for multifamily units. I grew up oblivious of what was going on outside of my Orange County world. I’m so grateful for the chance today to live in  Pasadena, a mixed income and a racially mixed community. But every day I can see the long shadows of consequences of policies like Article 34.

Jill Shook, Executive Director of Making Housing and Community Happen.

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