On Tuesday, the City Council will look at approving $2.9 million of redevelopment funds toward a new project on Newhall Avenue.
The land demarcated for the project’s initial phase was acquired by the City’s redevelopment agency in November. Currently an underutilized Caltrans Park and Ride, City staff hopes to develop the property for approximately 35 units of low and moderate income housing.
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To do so, the City Council (acting as the Redevelopment Agency) will vote at its Tuesday meeting whether or not to transfer funds from its non-housing fund balance to the appropriate balance for affordable housing.
If developed, the housing units on this site – referred to as the Agency-Owned Block – will help the City/Agency meet state-mandated requirements for developing housing for all income groups.
Whether or not this money is protected under Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget, however, is still in issue. Brown is calling for the elimination of all redevelopment agencies, and it’s unclear whether this action will halt approved or pending projects.
Proponents of Brown’s plan say the agencies’ elimination will free up funds for schools and law enforcement. Agency backers, however, claim that funds not only spur economic growth in blighted areas, but fund schools in those areas as well.
Nevertheless, the funds reserved for affordable housing are a different story. If the agencies are eliminated, funds more low and moderate income housing would fall not to the city or state, but to the local housing authority: the County of Los Angeles.