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The Real Deal Los Angeles

City of Industry has not developed a single residence in 20 years — this could change that

The business-centric city has blocked new residential development for the past 20 years
July 19, 2017 04:15PM

Mayor Mark D. Radecki (credit: City of Industry)

In West Hollywood, 20 new residences is a small housing complex. But in the City of Industry, which only has 60 houses, the addition would be revolutionary.

The area hasn’t seen a single new residential development in 20 years.

Industry — a 12 mile swath parallel to the 60 Freeway that is comprised mostly of warehouses and factories — issued a request for proposals for 20 homes last month. Less than a week before the deadline, more than 60 vendors have applied.

The move would boost its housing stock by 30 percent, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.

Half of the 60 residences in Industry are controlled by the city and rented for a subsidized $700 a month to city officials, their friends and family members. These residences are also tax free.

Industry, population 200, previously got away with its zero housing production despite state rules because it paid into a county fund that helped build nearly 9,000 low- and moderate-income homes in other jurisdictions. However, the city’s exemption expired four years ago — and no new homes have been built since.

The half of its housing stock that is not owned by the city is almost entirely owned by companies tied to former mayor David Perez, according to the Tribune. In a lawsuit, the City of Industry accused Perez and his family’s companies of contract fraud worth $326 million over a 20-year period. However, the case was dismissed earlier this year.

The new homes are expected to sit on three city properties at 22036 Valley Boulevard, 20137 and 20249 E. Walnut Drive South. The sites total about nine acres.

But whether the homes will be available to everyone is up for debate, according to the Tribune.

In the past, the city has not asked prospective residents to provide proof of income or fill out an application — even for the subsidized housing. Instead, people with ties to city officials simply mailed letters to the city’s housing authority saying they’d like to move in, the Tribune reported.

State Sen. Ed Hernandez has been pushing the city to create an independent housing commission to ensure “fair and impartial allocation of existing housing.”

“Unfortunately, these reforms still appear to be in the works, and housing units remain within the control of city leaders and rented out to hand-picked tenants at below market rates,” he said. [PSN] — Subrina Hudson