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Huntington Beach weighs providing loan for affordable-housing development, plus changes to housing plans

Huntington Beach Civic Ce
The Huntington Beach City Council will meet Monday night at City Hall.
(File Photo)

A new affordable-housing project could soon be on the horizon in Huntington Beach, depending on what the City Council decides on a loan agreement with developer Jamboree Housing Corp.

If the council agrees Monday, the city would provide a $3-million loan for Jamboree, a nonprofit housing developer based in Irvine, to acquire the land for the project, which it needs to secure funding for the proposal from the state and county, city staff said.

The developer currently has five affordable-housing projects in Huntington Beach.

Jamboree previously entered a $3-million purchase agreement for the almost 1-acre vacant lot at 18431 Beach Blvd. The lot’s estimated value is $3.2 million, according to an appraisal dated in late July. Staff said the developer has already conducted environmental assessments that determined the site is free of contamination liabilities.

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The prospective permanent supportive housing project could have up to 39 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units, according to a staff report prepared for Monday’s council meeting. Supportive housing combines affordable housing with social services.

If the council approves the loan and Jamboree does not acquire the funding necessary to build the project, the land would go to the city for future affordable housing, the report said.

Housing plan amendments

Also up for council consideration Monday night are possible amendments to the city general plan and the Beach and Edinger Corridors Specific Plan in order to apply for state funds to establish a homeless shelter.

To be eligible for the funds, the city must have a general plan housing element certified by the state Department of Housing and Community Development. State law requires local governments to adequately plan to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community, according to a staff report.

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The council will be considering whether to direct staff to begin drafting amendments to the housing element and the Beach and Edinger plan to include affordable housing.

The current 2013-21 housing element was certified in October 2013, then decertified following city amendments to the Beach and Edinger plan in May 2015. The amendments reduced the cap on new residential development from 4,500 units to 2,100 and imposed stricter height and setback requirements after many residents complained about the high rate at which high-density residential projects were popping up.

The amendments meant the city no longer had enough land zoned to accommodate low-income residents under state requirements.

In January, California sued Huntington Beach over what state officials called the city’s failure to allow enough homebuilding to accommodate a growing population. The case is continuing after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge in August denied the city’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

According to a recent Regional Housing Needs Assessment, Huntington Beach needs 3,625 new housing units. About 44% should be designated for low-income and very low-income residents, about 17% for moderate incomes and about 39% for above moderate incomes, according to the data.

Monday’s council meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 2000 Main St.

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