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31 units up for grabs in affordable housing lottery

31 units up for grabs in affordable housing lottery
Glendale has launched an affordable housing lottery for 31 units spread across five projects in the city. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

Glendale has launched a housing lottery for 31 affordable apartments spread across five project sites.

Applications postmarked by Nov. 27 will be considered for the 22 one-bedroom, seven two-bedroom and two three-bedroom units.

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All available apartments are considered very low income, except one, which is considered low income.

“Thirty-one units, to be truthful, won’t go a long way,” said Mike Fortney, the city’s principal housing project manager, who has been overseeing the process.

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A housing lottery was held for eight affordable units earlier this year at the ONYX apartments in Glendale. Roughly 7,800 applications were received for those units.

“We’re never going to meet the demand; all we can do is build as many [affordable units] as we can, and make the process as fair and transparent as we can,” Fortney said.

He added that he has noticed a recent uptick in developers seeking a density bonus, which allows them to increase a project’s base density by 35% in exchange for making 11% to 15% of their units affordable.

All of the units in the current lottery, launched Oct. 30, were the products of density bonuses. The project sites are located at 3901-3915 San Fernando Road, 507-525 W. Colorado St., 515 W. Broadway, 1407 W. Glenoaks Blvd., and 518 Glenwood Road.

Typically, developers will hire a manager to oversee a lottery, with the city providing oversight, Fortney said.

However, with so many projects coming online in a short amount of time, city officials thought it would save staff members time and energy by handling the operation themselves, he said.

“It’s going to eliminate a lot of mistakes,” Fortney said. “It’s just going to be a much cleaner process.”

Another lottery will be held in about six months for approximately 65 more affordable units, he said.

It can take years for a project to go from concept to fruition, city spokesman Tom Lorenz said.

A large residential project proposed by developer Carmel Partners to be constructed at 233 N. Jackson St. will include affordable units but could take five years to complete, Lorenz said.

The current lottery comes as the city is looking into rent control and an inclusionary housing ordinance, which would require most new developments to offer a certain number of affordable units.

Fortney, who proposed the housing ordinance, said a vote on it could come as soon as Nov. 13, when it is scheduled to come before the City Council.

Applications for the current housing lottery can be found at GlendaleCA.gov/affordablehousing.

For more information, call (818) 551-6937.

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