City Hall (File photo)

55 affordable apartments are coming to the Pico neighborhood.

Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM), a nonprofit that owns and operates 1,719 affordable residences throughout the city, is building a new apartment building on 14th Street between Pico Boulevard and Michigan Avenue for households that earn between 30 and 80 percent of Santa Monica’s median income. 27 units will have one bedroom, 14 will have two and 14 will have three.

“We’re pleased to have an opportunity to build another affordable housing development,” said CCSM executive director Tara Barauskas. “We anticipate serving low-income families and feel it will have a significant impact for the community.”

On Tuesday, City Council approved a $15,455,221 Housing Trust Fund loan to CCSM to acquire 1834, 1840, 1844 and 1848 14th Street and construct a building on the property. CCSM will also secure $23,747,625 for the project by offering investors tax credits to back the project.

Each residence will cost $777,607 to build, with acquisition, construction and soft costs totaling $42,768,357.

Barauskas said a developer approached CCSM about acquiring the property, which happened to meet the nonprofit’s criteria for affordability and proximity to transit, parks, supermarkets and schools. CCSM usually purchases properties on the open market, she said.

Council also decided that CCSM must use the City of Santa Monica’s affordable housing waitlist to place tenants in the development, rather than its own. It is the first time Council has attached such a requirement to an affordable housing loan, said Councilmember Kevin McKeown.

The City and CCSM maintain the two waitlists for affordable housing in Santa Monica and they differ in which types of applicants they prioritize. The City’s list prioritizes those who have been evicted from housing in the city, are rent-burdened or live or work in Santa Monica, McKeown said.

“We feel the City’s list is better for residents,” he said. “Council is heading toward requiring all affordable housing to pull from a single list, so someone who needs housing has one place to go and is treated fairly.”

Some residents in the Pico neighborhood, which has a lower average income than the rest of the city and is 30 percent Latino, have said they feel there are barriers to obtaining affordable housing in CCSM properties, City staff wrote in a report on the loan.

CCSM will market the development specifically to Pico residents and will offer credit-repair workshops in the coming months, as poor credit histories can act as a barrier for housing applicants.

“We need to prioritize affordable housing for long-term residents,” said Pico Neighborhood Association co-chair Oscar de la Torre.

CCSM will be holding community meetings in the next few months for residents to give input on the project, Barauskas said.

madeleine@smdp.com

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