Your City At Work: Andy Agle
February 13, 2020
by Andy Agle
This article originally appeared in the January/February edition of Seascape.
What are programs and policies in your work area that have an impact on affordability?
Housing and Economic Development (HED) is responsible for (1) investing in the production and preservation of long-term, deed-restricted affordable housing created by non-profit organizations, (2) administering rental-assistance programs for low-income households, including people experiencing homelessness, (3) monitoring deed-restricted affordable housing owned by for-profit organizations, and (4) exploring new tools to address affordability challenges, such as the senior assistance program known as Preserving Our Diversity (P.O.D), which we are currently expanding.
What are the ways that the City is addressing affordability that most people aren’t aware of ?
Many people notice when one of our non-profit affordable housing organizations builds new, long-term housing that is deed-restricted for occupancy by low-income households. People may not know about the many affordable homes that were created by purchasing existing buildings, rehabilitating them, and deed-restricting them for long-term support for low-income neighbors. People might also not be aware of the rental-assistance programs that allow many low-income households, particularly seniors and people with disabilities, to live anywhere in the community.
What are some common questions that you get from the public, and how can they learn more?
When I tell people what I do for Santa Monica, the most common question I hear is, “Is there really affordable housing in Santa Monica?” I am proud to tell them that there are over 4,500 deed-restricted affordable residences in Santa Monica and that of the new multi-family homes built in Santa Monica since 1994, 38 percent are deed-restricted to serve low- and moderate-income households.
How can people get involved in this topic?
One of the primary challenges faced by virtually everyone working to expand affordable housing is limited funding. I encourage everyone to advocate at the national, state, regional, and local levels for increased funding and new financing tools to support affordable housing.