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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Coalition of Pasadena housing advocates to address council with demands

Coalition of Pasadena housing advocates to address council with demands

Michelle White Pasadena NAACP
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Human rights, affordable housing and reduction of homeless population are key goals

Pasadenans Organizing for Progress (POP) joined with a coalition of affordable housing advocates Monday as they plan to approach the Pasadena City Council next week hoping to change the housing element draft which they claim has not met the housing needs for the average person in the city.

The housing element allows cities to “prepare a community-specific approach to ‘how’ and ‘where’ housing will be addressed to meet the needs of the community,” according to the city. Pasadena, for years, has not met its Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) for low-income housing, according to the coalition.

The coalition, which includes nine civic organizations — All Saints Church, Making Housing and Community Happen, NAACP, League of Women Voters-Pasadena Area, Pasadena For All, POP!, Democrats of Pasadena Foothills, Safe Streets Coalition, and Abundant Housing LA — demands that the City Council revise the draft housing element recently released by city staff. Council is scheduled to review the draft housing element at their Aug. 2 meeting.

POP organizes community members around the issues of housing justice focusing on changing public policy that results in growing the supply of affordable housing, especially increasing the percentage of affordable low-income units and units of permanent supportive housing for seniors while protecting tenants and preventing the loss of existing affordable housing.  

“This is something that needs to be taken care of. The city can do this. We can do this. We just have to put our minds to it,” said Ed Washatka, POP co-chair, Monday on the steps of City Hall.

Pointing out that council has made it financially impossible for some churches who want to make affordable homes on vacant land they own, speakers at the Monday press event were clear in their agenda: To help reduce homelessness, evictions and make affordable housing a reality not just a pipedream.

“Councilmembers, planning commissioners, Housing Task Force members and even city staff have conceded that the draft is vague and mainly a continuation of the status quo at a time when thousands of Pasadena renters face eviction, tens of thousands struggle with the rent and young families are priced out of home ownership,” said Washatka.

All Southern California cities are required to revise their housing elements this year. The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) determines the share of the state’s housing need for each region based off population projections prepared by the California Department of Finance and other factors identified in recent housing legislation. In Southern California, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) then allocates each local jurisdiction its share of the regional housing need. Pasadena’s target for 2021-2029 is 9,429 new residential units, 6,000 of which are required to be affordable for very low-, low- and moderate-income households.

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