Santa Monica to Build 122 Affordable Apartments for $1 Million Each

Santa Monica to Build 122 Affordable Apartments for $1 Million Each

A homeless individual sleeps on the beach with the famed Ferris wheel at the Pacific Park in the background in Santa Monica, Calif., on Dec. 8, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

4/23/2024

Updated: 4/23/2024

Santa Monica, a Southern California coastal city, is moving ahead with plans to build 122 affordable apartments for low-income and homeless people at a cost of more than $1 million for each unit.
Officials approved a design concept for the project at a city-owned site on 4th Street, a former parking structure.
“Moving forward in bringing affordable and permanent supportive housing to city-owned land is a key step in our strategy to fulfill our Housing Element requirements,” Mayor Phil Brock said in a statement. “I look forward to the next steps and ultimately seeing families move into these new homes and thrive.”
The multi-story, 122-unit apartment building will have a mix of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The ground floor will also have retail shops and parking for residents and businesses.
Fifty of the units will be set aside for supportive housing for homeless people. Those units will have a full-time services coordinator for the tenants. One full-time property manager will live on-site, and one full-time assistant manager will also help the tenants.
The services provider, The People Concern (TPC), will provide one full-time intensive case management coordinator for every 20 formerly homeless residents, using on-site offices. TPC is funded by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services for intensive case management, according to the city’s staff report on the project.
The homeless services will include mental health support, substance abuse prevention , assistance applying for benefits, transportation, legal services management, eviction prevention, life skills education, social and recreational activities, educational resources, and money management, the city reported.
A second design option, which was not selected, would have cost more than $200 million to build 196 units.
The city has dedicated several city-owned sites for affordable projects as part of a strategy to build more affordable homes.
Santa Monica, located in Los Angeles County, has some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Southern California. The average home price is more than $1.7 million and the average price for rent is $3,550 per month, according to Zillow, a national real estate company.
Santa Monica’s latest homeless count estimated that the city had about 926 homeless people in 2023, an increase of about 15 percent from the year before.
When finished, the apartment complex will serve homeless people and low-income residents earning 30 percent to 80 percent of the area median income, which was $106,800 for the city in 2022, according to the U.S. census.
Homeless people in Santa Monica, Calif., on Nov. 27, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Homeless people in Santa Monica, Calif., on Nov. 27, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The design concept was approved by the City Council April 16 during a regular meeting. The officials also directed city staff to explore adding a floor of apartments to the project, according to city spokeswoman Tati Simonian.
The project will return to the City Council for final approval regarding its ground lease with the city, and development and disposition agreement, she added.
The city will use $2 million in federal funding to help build the $123 million project. Other funds to be tapped include nearly $12.5 million in loans and $31.6 million in state Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities money, among other local and state resources.
The price per unit is estimated to cost slightly more than $1 million, according to city estimates.
In 2019, the City Council authorized a competitive bidding process to develop a 100 percent affordable housing complex that would include a significant number of units designated for supportive housing. Those units are designated to help low-income, homeless, or disabled residents find stable housing.
EAH Housing, a nonprofit developer that promotes affordable housing and diverse communities, was selected in January 2022 for the Santa Monica project.
A homeless people in Santa Monica., Calif., on Nov. 27, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Time)

A homeless people in Santa Monica., Calif., on Nov. 27, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Time)

Several organizations applauded the project in letters to the City Council, with many saying they were encouraged by the addition of affordable housing but hoped the project could include more units.
“We are thrilled to see the plans for affordable housing advancing at the former Parking Structure 3 site,” Bradley Ewing and Carl Hansen, co-chairs for the progressive group Santa Monica Forward, wrote in a letter to council on April 9.
“While we strongly support this affordable housing and grocery concept, we would like to see more affordable units built here, and we are deeply concerned by the extremely high per unit development costs of the options proposed.”
Resident Natalya Zemitskaya agreed, saying she wished more homes could be built.
“Although I do wish that the project was a bit taller so we could get more than 122 new homes on this site, I believe that these 122 new homes will certainly help,” she said in her letter dated April 9.
The Santa Monica Housing Commission had several concerns about the project but decided to recommend it for approval after a discussion on March 7.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Jill McLaughlin

Jill McLaughlin

Author

Jill McLaughlin is an award-winning journalist covering politics, environment, and statewide issues. She has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in Oregon, Nevada, and New Mexico. Jill was born in Yosemite National Park and enjoys the majestic outdoors, traveling, golfing, and hiking.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.