Seriously Affordable Housing Del Mar Steps Up
Tom McGreal | Stratford Court
In October the DeL Mar City Council was spurred into action on the City’s Affordable Housing goals by a recommendation from the Del Mar Housing Corporation that the City establish an Affordable Housing Reserve Fund of $2 million over the next five years.
Don Countryman, Chair of the Housing Corporation Board, presented the recommendation along with a request that the City also make a firm commitment to continue funding the Housing Subsidy program that helps up to eight families who are unable to afford rental housing in Del Mar.
Don reminded the Council that Del Mar has not yet created any actual Affordable Housing units as required under the City’s Housing Element, which was certified by the State of California in 2013 and runs until 2021.
The Council unanimously supported the recommendation and directed the City staff to hire a consultant who will bring the needed expertise in developing strategies for affordable housing. The idea is that the consultant will work with staff to establish a plan with specific recommendations such as conversions, acquisitions or development projects to achieve our affordable housing goals by 2021.
These plans will be supported by a funding strategy that leverages the City’s new Affordable Housing Reserve Fund with potential state or federal grants and various sources of borrowing to support the overall plan. For example, the California Statewide Communities Development Authority has helped many cities in CA with tax exempt financing. The City Council has also asked the Finance Committee to review the plans in terms of the short and long term implications for the City budget.
Most important, these actions will make affordable housing a priority for the City of Del Mar with a commitment to the needed funding and work plan to meet the goal of creating 22 affordable housing units in the next five years. As the Council members agreed, this is not only a commitment in our Housing element it is an important moral obligation to our community.