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Affordable Housing

Build Small, Live Large: Oregon Says Yes to Tiny Houses



Build Small, Live Large - Summit Encourages Oregonians

by Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service

PORTLAND — A bill passed in the Oregon Legislature earlier this year says cities must allow a mix of housing types, referred to as inclusive zoning, rather than the traditional single-family zoning.

A conference next month will explore how tiny homes can be a big part of life. The Build Small Live Large 2019 summit is a biennial event, looking this year at housing affordability.


Eli Spevak is the founder of Orange Splot, a contracting company that builds clusters of tiny homes and affordable housing units. He’s speaking on several panels about the new landscape for smaller housing.

“A lot of times, single-family zoning encourages new homes to be all 2,600 square-foot – that’s about the average size in Portland,” Spevak said. “And we know that the demographic changes and increasing cost of housing – it’s important to have smaller, less expensive housing options that the market can provide, if the zoning code allows for it.”

Carmel Perez Snyder, director of advocacy and outreach with AARP Oregon, is on a panel delving into the accessibility issue for tiny homes.

She said tiny homes often are associated with young people and include designs, such as a loft you have to climb into, that don’t take into account people with mobility issues. But she noted as the country ages, it’s important to think about incorporating universal designs into these smaller homes.

“Because a lot of older adults are finding that they want to literally downsize to something smaller,” Snyder said. “It works better for them, it’s more affordable, or they just want to have a smaller carbon footprint.”

The first Build Small Live Large summit was held in 2012. Spevak said the driving force behind it was people looking for ways to cut down their carbon footprint. He said a greater mix of smaller housing types in residential areas would help the climate.

“It turns out that almost 80% of the climate impact of a house over its lifespan has to do with conditioning the space and keeping the water, which scale with how big the house is,” he said.

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Affordable Housing

Senior Tenant Sues Santa Monica Landlord to Stay in Her Home



photo by Benjamin Massello

SANTA MONICA (Santa Monica Daily Press)– A 72-year-old woman with disabilities who has lived in the same Santa Monica studio for 38 years has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against her landlords.

In the suit filed Monday, St. James v. Bills, tenant Zandra St. James charges that her landlord violated state law by refusing to accept her housing choice voucher to offset her monthly rent. As a result, St. James faces eviction.

St. James’ apartment is rent-controlled, but with annual incremental increases. The rent has risen to the point that it now demands more than 90 percent of her monthly Social Security disability check.

She was awarded a housing choice voucher in 2019 and immediately sought to use the subsidy to help pay her […]

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Affordable Housing

Apply for Affordable Senior Housing at LGBT Center’s McCadden Campus



LOS ANGELES — The City of West Hollywood is getting the word out that applications for new affordable senior housing will be accepted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Senior Services program for the forthcoming McCadden Campus senior housing site, which will offer 98 new, affordable, low-income units designed for people who are ages 62 and over.

The LGBT Center’s McCadden Campus senior housing is anticipated to be completed in fall 2020 and will feature studios and one-bedroom rentals.

There will be fully accessible units for people with mobility hearing, and/or vision disabilities. Future residents will be welcomed into the LA LGBT Center’s wide range of community programming specializing in HIV+ wellness, gender identity, and LGBT social and cultural support.

Other services will include meals, case management, employment training, and more.

The new senior housing site will be located adjacent to the Center’s Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Senior Center at the Anita May Rosenstein Campus on N. Las Palmas Avenue in Hollywood, just east of the City of West Hollywood, and is a project of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and Thomas Safran & Associates.

The City of West Hollywood contributed $2.1 million to the project from the City’s local housing trust fund. Applications will be accepted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center until Wednesday, March 4.

There will be three opportunities for community members to submit applications in person in the City of West Hollywood:

  1. Monday, March 2 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the West Hollywood Park Auditorium, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard; and
  2. Wednesday, March 4 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the West Hollywood Library Community Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.

The City of West Hollywood has a decades-long commitment to providing social services, health education, and information to community members in-need and to improve quality of life. The City’s Social Services Division and Strategic Initiatives Division budget more than $5 million annually to support programs that impact thousands of people in West Hollywood through local nonprofit organizations.

The City’s Aging in Place/Aging in Community program was launched in 2016 to improve the quality of life and well-being of older adults in the City. For additional information, please visit

The City of West Hollywood’s Rent Stabilization & Housing Division promotes equity and inclusion through access to housing, and by working to change the underlying systems leading to and perpetuating disparities.

The Division provides a breadth of information and services to both tenants and property owners, including housing counseling and information materials. The City facilitates the development of new housing with an affordable component, the rehabilitation of existing housing for lasting affordability, and the development of mixed-use projects that include affordable housing units. For additional information, please visit

For more information about programs and services for seniors in the City of West Hollywood, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Social Services Division at (323) 848-6510 or visit

For more information about McCadden Campus senior housing, please contact the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Senior Services program by calling (323) 860-5830 or visit http://mccaddencampus.

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Affordable Housing

CA Lawmakers Say Limiting Development Fees Combats Housing Crisis



Photo by Sacha T'Sas

SACRAMENTO (AP) — In their latest bid to combat California’s affordable housing crisis, state lawmakers on Monday announced a package of bills to limit development fees that can add tens of thousands of dollars to the price of a new home.

However, local governments depend heavily on the fees, which typically are used to pay for schools, roads and parks. Lawmakers said they were discussing those needs but have not yet decided how the fees might be replaced.

The fees are “vital to local government’s ability to pay for the infrastructure that residents living in new developments need,” Chris Lee, legislative representative for the California State Association of Counties said in a statement. He said counties are glad to […]

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