Although the Bergamot development maximizes use of the 142.5-acre district (“Bergamot plan finally approved by City Council,” Sept. 12), it’s a plus that 50 percent of the bonus affordable units will go to households at or below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). Although the bonus does not include single units, the new rents for extremely low-income are at subsidy levels, which makes production of these financially difficult.
The council’s directive that housing be marketed to first responders, such as fire fighters, police, teachers and nurses, needs to take into account that salaries in these ranges — 100 to 120 percent of AMI — may increase beyond income maximums allowed for the unit.
Finally, improvements recently were made to our affordable housing program, including lowering all rents, and are ongoing. What is needed is to establish more reasonable rent returns for the extremely low-income, reconstruct and adhere to a credible waiting list, continue the monitoring, and ensure compliance with our “local” preference, with 50 percent priority to individuals who live and /or work in Santa Monica.
Member, Housing Commission