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Re: Item 8A - Housing Element



Re: Item 8A - Housing Element


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


Since our founding, Santa Monica Forward has strongly encouraged our community to take the housing shortage crisis seriously. Decades of inadequate housing production, particularly in high demand coastal job centers has led to ever increasing housing costs and displacement. This has turned the housing market into what is now, essentially a pyramid scheme, where the earliest property owners have benefited the most and future generations, renters, and those on margins find it harder and harder to keep up.


You will likely hear from many of those at the top of this pyramid, who claim there is no housing shortage crisis--and for them, there isn’t. They will say building new housing will hurt community character, but community character is about people and not buildings. Should a future Santa Monica be strip malls, surface parking lots, and single family homes accessible to only the top 0.01%? Because that is what we are rapidly becoming.


We, like many others in the community, have commented on our Housing Element multiple times. None of our concerns have been addressed. Our Housing Element fails to take meaningful actions to overcome Santa Monica’s very real patterns of segregation. Our Housing Element fails to make realistic assumptions about what will be built and where. And our Housing Element fails to provide any significant evidence that the existing uses on the parcels in our site inventory will be discontinued during the planning period. This is both an abdication of our responsibility to provide housing for those who need it, and places our city in a legally precarious position with this state. Please reject the current draft of the Housing Element. For the sake of all of those struggling with the burden of the housing shortage crisis, please adopt a Housing Element that will actually lead to the production of the housing we so desperately need and don’t subject our city to costly and shameful state penalties.


Sincerely,



Abby Arnold Carl Hansen abby@abbyarnold.com cjh268@cornell.edu

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



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