Council approves housing element changes

By Brett Callwood

Item 12A at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, July 26, saw the council approve recent changes to the adopted housing element, for resubmission to the HCD (California Department of Housing and Community Devel- opment). However, the vote was 3-1, with Council Member Paulette Francis the one “nay” vote, and Council Member Wanda Love abstaining.

In a presentation, staff said that the new programs aim to “1) Create objective housing standards, 2) Focus on North Gar- dena, including: having a North Gardena resident on each Commission; targeted housing programs, and promoting development and business opportunities, 3) Create incentives for affordable housing, 4) Developed AFFH Action Matrix including Fair Housing outreach, Senior Housing, focussed outreach for neighborhood improvements, facilitate ADU development, considering Inclusionary Housing, and promoting home ownership opportunities.”

There was some debate, with Francis strongly arguing that the updated element feels like a rewrite, but staff contested that there is plenty of new information included, notably that it answers HCD questions.

Following approval by the council, the element was resubmitted to HCD on Wednesday, July 27, after which the HCD has a 60 day review period ending Sept. 25.

As of now, 26 percent of housing in Gardena is allocated to people in the “very low income” category, 13 percent for “low,” 16 percent for “moderate,” and 45 percent for “above moderate.”