First published in the Aug. 27 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 1177 this past Monday, creating a regional affordable housing trust between the cities of Pasadena, Burbank and Glendale. Written by state Sen. Anthony Portantino, the bill will use $23 million, which was recently approved in the 2022-2023 state budget to help finance affordable-housing projects in the three cities.
The bill authorizes Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena to fund housing aimed at assisting their low income and homeless populations. Specifically, it authorizes the three cities to plan and build housing, receive public and private financing and funds as well as authorize and issue bonds.
In June, Portantino announced that his budget request to create and fund the regional affordable-housing trust had been approved.
“I am thrilled that the governor has supported and funded this effort,” Portantino said.
“Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena have been at the forefront of meeting California’s housing needs. 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,” 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 according to Portantino’s office.
Burbank has an average rent price of about $1800 and 29% of Burbank residents allocate more than half of their total income toward rent payments, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“The city is Burbank is very excited that SB 1177 has been signed by the governor. This bill, along with the $23 million in funding for our region will be extremely beneficial for Burbank and help us to add much needed affordable housing to our city,” said Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes.
“The programs that come as a result of the bill coupled with the funding will change the lives of the residents who participate in our future affordable programs,” he added.
Increasing land prices, construction costs and interest rates have made creating affordable public housing difficult for the three cities, according to Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo.
“This is not a challenge that can be addressed by one city alone… but we are committed to do all we can to create more affordable housing. SB 1177 is a critical part of that commitment,” he said.
Under the bill, the joint-power authority consisting of the three cities would be allowed to request and receive private and state funding allocations, 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.