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re: Council Agenda Item 8A- Council Direction on Draft Concepts and Framework for Housing Element Up

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

March 30, 2021

Re: Council Agenda Item 8A- Council Direction on Draft Concepts and Framework for Housing Element Update

Dear Mayor Himmelrich, Mayor Pro Tempore McCowan, and members of the Santa Monica City Council:

Our Housing Element Update is one of the most important tasks our community has ahead of us. California’s housing shortage crisis has made housing in high opportunity communities like Santa Monica unaffordable for most, and leaves many residents significantly rent burdened and financially insecure, which connects directly to our related homelessness crisis.

Santa Monica cannot solve the housing crisis on its own, but our housing element update is part of a statewide effort to address the housing shortage and the tremendous need for more affordable units. We encourage the city to take seriously the development of a compliant Housing Element that will lead to the production of the housing we need. If over the next RHNA cycle cities across the state meet their target production numbers, we will finally make meaningful progress in addressing this housing crisis that has been decades in the making.

As you consider the appropriate locations for new housing, we ask that these sites be distributed equitably. As the HOLC Redline map annotated by Planning Commissioner Nina Fresco (Attachment i in your agenda packet) clearly shows, while explicitly racist housing rules may have been removed, their impact and original intent continues through our current zoning, and will not be erased until we actively work to undo them.

Santa Monica Forward has also partnered with Abundant Housing LA, The League of Women Voters Santa Monica, and Inclusive Santa Monica, on a petition addressing the requests above and others. That petition was shared with you earlier today. We hope you will take these concerns to heart as you provide your direction to staff and shape the future of our community.


Abby Arnold Carl Hansen

Co-chair, Santa Monica Forward Co-chair, Santa Monica Forward

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