Congressman Ted Lieu has announced that he successfully secured the inclusion of $2 million in funding in the 2022 House Appropriations Bill to support an affordable housing project on the current site of Parking Structure 3 in Downtown Santa Monica. This good news comes as the Santa Monica City Council last week approved the demolition of the dated structure, the first step in transitioning the City-owned parcel into affordable housing to directly address homelessness.
In the announcement, Rep. Lieu shared, “The homelessness crisis in America is a national disgrace. We must do more to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness. I’m pleased that these important local projects to help address homelessness in our region have been included in the FY 2022 House appropriations bills. If signed into law, this funding will go directly toward building housing and providing support for those experiencing homelessness in our district. I will continue to advocate for our district in Congress to ensure we receive the federal funding we need to tackle this persistent challenge.”
The inclusion of this funding in the Appropriations Committee draft bills is the essential first step in ultimately securing the significant federal support which is expected to be passed by Congress later this fall. The City was invited by Congressman Lieu to submit proposals for Community Project Funding requests in early April as were all local governments and non-profits in his Congressional district. The Council voted on April 13, 2021 to submit four Community Project Funding proposals, of which Congressman Lieu ultimately selected the Parking Structure 3 proposal as one of the ten he could submit to the Appropriations Committee on behalf of his Congressional district.
“We are extremely grateful for Congressman Lieu’s advocacy on behalf of Santa Monica. This $2 million will make a material difference in addressing homelessness and producing much-needed affordable housing,” said Mayor Sue Himmelrich. “This Council has prioritized affordable housing on City-owned land and the future project on the site of the outmoded Parking Structure 3 is an example of this long-term commitment.”
The effort to convert Parking Structure 3 to affordable housing began in 2019 when the City Council authorized the City’s Housing Division to undertake a competitive selection process for development of a 100% affordable housing project on the site, to include a significant component of supportive housing. That process was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and City staff now anticipate presenting a recommendation to the City Council for selection of the developer by the end of this year. At its March 23, 2021 meeting, Council designated this site as “exempt surplus land,” thus reserving this site for the future development of a 100% affordable housing project, in accordance with recent amendments to the Surplus Land Act (California Government Code sections 54200 et seq.). Demolition was approved by the Coastal Commission at its May 13, 2021 meeting. With Council’s July 13, 2021 approval to move forward with a contract for demolition, that work is set to begin in early 2022, after the holiday season.
For more information on the Parking Structure 3 project, visit https://www.santamonica.gov/topic-explainers/parking-structure-3-demolition.
Submitted by Constance Farrell, Public Information Officer