California will count middle-income housing conversions toward affordable housing goals

State has partnered with several investors to buy market-rate apartments then turn units into “workforce housing”

Los Angeles /
Sep.September 29, 2021 09:49 AM
California will count middle-income housing conversions toward affordable housing goals
Residences at Westgate, The Hudson and Assembly member Jesse Gabriel (CSCDA, A45.ASMDC.org)

Middle-income housing conversions will now count toward the state-mandated affordable housing quota for cities and counties in California.

Assembly Bill 787 is designed to bolster the supply of moderately affordable housing. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the measure into law on Tuesday along with 27 other housing bills, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Middle-income housing, sometimes called workforce housing, is typically deemed affordable for households with incomes between 80 and 120 percent of area median income.

In L.A. County, a single-person household with an annual income between $66,250 and $67,200 could qualify for workforce housing, where rent prices are slightly lower than typical units. A four-person household with an annual income as high as $96,000 could also qualify.

Households with those incomes make too much to qualify for traditional affordable housing, which is aimed at lower-income households.

The state earlier this year started to ramp up a middle-income housing program. Joint powers authorities — partnerships of state and local government agencies — are providing private companies with tax-exempt bond dollars to acquire markey-rate apartment buildings then steadily lower rents to workforce housing levels.

The private partner receives a tax break for the life of the bonds. The partner transfers the property to the state when the debt is paid off, according to the Daily News.

Opportunity Housing Group partnered with the California Statewide Communities Development Authority to acquire a 261-unit complex in Monrovia in April.

Waterford Property Company also partnered with the CSCDA on two Pasadena purchases.

And Standard Communities purchased a Carson complex  with the CSCDA dollars in July. A month later, it announced plans to acquire 4,000 units over the next two years to convert to workforce housing.

[LADN] — Dennis Lynch 





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