The maintenance of existing affordable housing units often falls through the cracks as funding programs target new construction.

1 minute read

January 18, 2024, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

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An article in The Real Deal highlights the efforts of Los Angeles city leaders to preserve existing affordable housing units, thousands of which are set to sunset from affordability requirements in 2027. “California’s Affordable Housing Preservation Notice Law requires property owners intending to exit an affordability program, including subsidy contracts, regulatory agreements or covenants, to provide sufficient advance notice to impacted residents and their local government.”

According to the city, there are two avenues for preserving these affordable units: “The first includes addressing the cost of preserving affordability by paying the difference between the cost of rent at the time of covenant creation, and current market rate rents.” The second option is performing maintenance and upgrades on existing buildings to keep them livable.

“City officials have identified four potential funding sources to expand affordable housing preservation, including the federal HOME program, the state Permanent Local Housing Allocation (Senate Bill 2) and Linkage Fee funds.” One roadblock is that some programs, like HOME, direct funds toward new construction rather than the preservation of existing housing.

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