Regional Trust to Help Fund Affordable-Housing Projects

First published in the July 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

A regional affordable-housing trust between the cities of Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale was approved recently, according to state Sen. Anthony Portantino.
The 2022-23 state budget recently signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom will allocate $23 million to help finance affordable-housing projects in the three cities through the joint-powers authority outlined in Portantino’s Senate Bill 1177.
“Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena have been at the forefront of meeting California’s housing needs. I’m happy to help them create and fund this effort to build critical affordable housing,” said Portantino, a Democrat, who recently moved to Burbank and has represented the city since 2016.
“The high cost of housing has had a devastating effect on Californians, especially on lower-income and workforce households in the Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena area. I’m proud to represent these three great cities that initiated this creative solution, and I look forward to working closely with them to continue to address our regional housing needs,” he added.
Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena have nearly 3,000 affordable-housing units in the combined development pipeline, including permanent supportive housing, senior housing, workforce housing and affordable home ownership units. Due to insufficient local funding, they have been unable to bring their backlog of affordable-housing projects to completion, Portantino said.
“We are so excited and thankful that Sen. Portantino was able to include the $23 million in the state budget for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena regional housing trust,” Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes said in a statement. “This money will mean a lot for our region as we continue to approve and build affordable housing.”
The cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena are members of the Arroyo Verdugo subregion and have worked collaboratively in the past, sharing the goal of cooperatively addressing regional priorities and matters of mutual interest.
They each operate their own housing authority, and both Glendale and Pasadena are two of the three cities in the state that have their own homeless continuum of care.
SB 1177, authored by Portantino, would create the regional housing trust fund that would be administered by a joint-powers authority comprised of the cities of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. Under the bill, the JPA would be allowed to request and receive private and state funding, as well as authorize and issue bonds, to help finance affordable-housing projects for persons and families of extremely low-, very low-, low- and moderate-income households.
SB 1177 is currently in the state Assembly and is eligible for a floor vote when the Legislature reconvenes in August.