Santa Monica City Hall (Daniel Archuleta

Affordable housing with ocean views.

With redevelopment agency money dried up and City Hall not interested in playing landlord, city officials are recommending the transfer of two city-owned Ocean Avenue apartments to the city’s largest affordable housing provider.

On Tuesday, City Council will consider handing the Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM) the keys to 24 apartments at 419 and 1616 Ocean Ave.

“After independent evaluations and collaborative discussions, the committee unanimously recommended that the Ocean Properties be conveyed to CCSM due to their extensive experience with owning and operating affordable housing in Santa Monica, their record of success in rehabilitating tenant-occupied properties, and their financial capacity,” city officials said in a report to council.

CCSM is proposing to offer five apartments at 30 percent of the area median income, 17 apartments at 60 percent, and five apartments at 80 percent.

None of the existing 11 rent-controlled households would be ousted from the apartment after the exchange. Whenever those tenants do decide to leave, they’ll be replaced by income-qualified tenants.

The agreement that City Hall would execute with CCSM will preserve affordability for 55 years plus an option to extend affordability for another 25 years. After that 80-year period, City Hall could buy the properties back at a dollar apiece.

CCSM proposes a major rehab at 1616 Ocean Ave. making the buildings more accessible, updating the building systems and finishes, and converting a large commercial space to three apartments.

The 419 Ocean Ave. property will need rehabilitation related to deferred maintenance and long-term issues like the efficient use of utilities.

“Staff estimates a one-time capital investment of $3 million from available Housing Trust Funds for initial rehabilitation, which equates to $112,000 per unit, well within the Housing Trust Fund Guideline limits,” city officials said. “Funds would be processed pursuant to the Housing Trust Fund Guidelines.”

If council agrees with the transfer of property, the city manager will negotiate an agreement with CCSM.

Additionally, council is being asked to put a vacant property on at 2018 19th St. up for sale. The 8,000-square-foot property was bought by Habitat for Humanity funds from the now-defunct redevelopment agency with the hopes of developing affordable ownership housing. Habitat for Humanity returned the property in 2009, after determining that the development would be infeasible.

“Therefore, staff proposes the sale of 19th Street with the proceeds to be deposited into the City’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund to create future affordable housing opportunities with potential to yield a greater number of residences than possible at 19th Street,” city officials said.

If council approves of putting the lot up for sale, it’s be offered to public agencies first. If no public agencies bite, they’d offer it up to private owners.

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