Editor:

The League of Women Voters of Santa Monica supports and commends the City Council’s passage of the Emergency Interim Zoning Ordinance to allow for streamlined approval of 100% affordable housing projects and Tier 2 housing projects compliant with the City’s existing Zoning Code and California’s Housing Accountability Act.

In the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis in California, Santa Monica continues to take a forward-looking, proactive approach to support the production of new housing in our city. We appreciate the leading role that the City has taken in addressing barriers to the creation of new housing, particularly affordable housing. While other cities are fighting against the proposed RHNA numbers, Santa Monica understands that a solution to the housing crisis is multifaceted, and must begin at the local level.

The League does not support or oppose any candidates or parties, but we do advocate for best practices on issues where we have established public policy positions.

The League supports action at all levels of government for the provision of affordable housing for all Californians and removal of barriers that inhibit the construction of low and moderate income housing. We support measures to provide affordable housing to the community which assist with meeting and maintaining all state requirements and which also address local needs . Additionally, we support the adoption of policies incentivizing the increased building of housing, including working towards amending regulations to streamline approval processes for multiple types of housing, including both deed-restricted low income housing and all income levels of housing.

The city’s action is in alignment with our adopted positions supporting the creation of new housing by eliminating barriers, incentivizing increased production, and streamlining approval processes, as well as alignment with our adopted position that the City of Santa Monica should take a leading role in solving homelessness at the local and regional level. In taking a proactive response to increase the production of housing, particularly affordable housing, the City is setting an example and taking a leading role in addressing the housing crisis affecting every part of California.

The housing and homelessness crises in our state, region, and city are inextricably linked. We support the Council’s March 10th decision and encourage the City to continue its efforts to address these crises.

Natalya Zernitskaya

President, League of Women Voters of Santa Monica

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