Daily 49er

Long Beach city council addresses affordable housing issue

City hopes to create more low-income units.

Samantha Diaz, Staff Writer

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Long Beach City Council moved to adopt recommendations brought forward by city staff for the production of affordable housing units.

The city faces a housing crisis, with a vacancy rate of 2 percent as compared to the national average of 8 percent, according to the council. A study on the production of affordable housing is meant to increase this number by looking into various methods to create more affordable units.  

Affordable housing is defined by the federal government as housing that requires less than 30 percent of a person’s income for rent.

Recommendations to implement low-income housing were broken up into three categories by city staff, including policies, existing legislature and new initiatives. Among the 30 options provided were micro-units, which are smaller than average housing units, and using abandoned storage units as affordable housing.

Mayor Robert Garcia expressed his approval for micro-units, saying that they can specifically benefit students attending Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach. Garcia called for staff to look into the city’s code on the minimum size housing units can be in Long Beach.

“I do believe there’s an opportunity to build, in the appropriate areas, denser units at a lower cost,” said Garcia. “I also support the idea of developing first time home buyer programs for not just city employees, but those across the city to provide them access in buying their first home.”

City council is set to study the recommendations presented to them Tuesday night and look into how other cities address affordable housing, then return to the floor with methods to implement over the next few years.

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