Two Portantino Affordable Housing Bills Pass Key Committee

Senate Bill 1177, introduced by State Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) which seeks to create an affordable housing regional trust between the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena and SB 1067, which restricts parking minimums in cities, passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

“SB 1177 helps tackle the affordable housing crisis with a long-term regional approach and provides three cities the opportunity to address affordable housing needs,” stated Senator Portantino.  “As Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena work together to develop much needed affordable housing for the region, I look forward to partnering with them.  I’m proud to represent these three great cities that are endeavoring to collaborate on creative solutions to solve our regional housing needs.”

The high cost of housing and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on lower income households, with rents and home prices having far outpaced wage growth.  Collectively, the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena have nearly 3,000 affordable housing units in the combined development pipeline, including permanent supportive housing, senior housing, workforce housing, and affordable home ownership units.  However, they are unable to bring their backlog of affordable housing projects to completion due to insufficient local funding.  This situation has dramatically affected the city’s ability to meet all of their affordable housing needs.

SB 1177 will create of a regional housing trust fund that would be administered by a joint powers authority (JPA) comprised of the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena.  If created, the JPA would be allowed to request and receive private and state funding allocations, as well as authorize and issue bonds, to help finance affordable housing projects for persons and families of extremely low-, very low-, low-, and moderate-income households. 

“Pasadena supports Sen. Portantino’s introduction of SB 1177 to create the Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena Regional Housing Trust Fund,” stated Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo.  “Addressing housing affordability is an important issue that requires a regional approach.  Working together with our neighbors in the tri-city area, as well as with those in the greater San Gabriel Valley, is absolutely the correct strategy.  A new housing trust fund will help us bring much needed affordable housing, and especially critically needed permanent supportive housing, to Pasadena and the surrounding region.”

“Our three cities have a history of commitment to improve the quality of lives for our residents and the region through partnerships such as the Verdugo Jobs Center; Arroyo Verdugo Communities Joint Powers Authority — a group that receives transportation funds for La Cañada Flintridge, Glendale, Burbank; unincorporated La Crescenta/Montrose, Pasadena and South Pasadena; and of course the Hollywood Burbank Airport,” stated Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes. “This proposed regional housing trust is another opportunity to collaborate on the creation of affordable housing.  The housing crisis cannot be solved independently, and we are committed to working together to add to the thousands of units already developed in our communities, and in our respective development pipelines.”   

“We are fully committed to working collaboratively to address affordable housing in our region. The creation of a housing trust fund has the potential to generate significant amounts of funding that can be utilized to address this crisis,” said Glendale Mayor Paula Devine.

The cities of Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena are members of the Arroyo Verdugo Sub-Region and have worked collaboratively in the past, sharing the goal of cooperatively addressing regional priorities and matters of mutual interest. They each operate their own housing authority, and both Glendale and Pasadena are two of the three cities in the state that have their own homeless continuum of care.

SB 1067, which also passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee today, addresses minimum parking requirements.  Parking minimums require private property owners to provide and maintain a certain number of off-street parking spaces, which impose significant financial, environmental, and social costs to cities. SB 1067 would prohibit a city from imposing any minimum parking requirement on a housing development project that is located within half a mile of public transit, as long as certain requirements are met.

Specifically, the project must either dedicate 25% of their units to low-income to moderate income households, the elderly, students or persons with disabilities; or the developer must be able to demonstrate that the development would not have a negative impact on housing needs or existing parking.

“Last year, I was challenged to provide a path toward the relaxation of parking minimums.  I took the challenge seriously and crafted a bill that eliminates parking minimums close to public transit, lessens California’s dependence on cars, should encourage bicycling and walking while increasing our stock of affordable and workforce housing,” stated Senator Portantino. “While California needs housing across the financial spectrum, it needs to prioritize affordable and workforce housing more than market rate housing.  I have committed to collaborate with market rate housing supporters, local governments and civil rights groups in an effort to hit the sweet spot on this important public policy.  As an optimist, I’m hoping that we’ve made strides toward that goal.”
Lerna Kayserian Shirinian
Communications Director
Senator Anthony J. Portantino
25th District