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Affordable Housing

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

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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.

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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

CA Lawmakers Say Limiting Development Fees Combats Housing Crisis

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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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Affordable Housing

LA LGBT Senior Services Affordable Housing Event -Feb 21

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PLUMMER PARK — The Los Angeles LGBT Center has a new development in senior housing, and are offering info and answering questions about 98 new affordable and accessible units -tomorrow at Plummer Park. The development, located at 1127 N Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90038, will be open in fall 2020, brought to us in part by Thomas Safran and Associates.

The Center’s case managers are experts at helping seniors navigate the complex world of Social Security, Medicare, affordable housing, and more. Please join them and learn about how to grab one of these apartments and what what services they offer for veteran and disabled community members.

Applications will be available Feb. 26-March 4.

More information about the housing at mccaddencampus.com

RSVP for Senior Services events through the Senior Services Portal (seniors.lalgbtcenter.org).

The Center’s website states “The LGBT Center is a safe and welcoming place where individuals of all ages can find help, as well as hope and support, when they need it the most…From housing homeless youth to providing affordable housing for seniors—and from helping transgender people find employment to providing legal support for asylum seekers—no organization serves more LGBT people than the Center.”

Check their calendar for upcoming activities and events that include:

  • Health and wellness programs
  • Enrichment classes (computer, writing, dancing, acting, photograph, etc.)
  • Monthly dinners and social networking opportunities
  • Cultural excursions (theater, opera, museums, etc.)
  • Educational seminars and workshop
  • Senior-Youth Photo Project
  • Senior-Youth Dinners

More info about the center at lalgbtcenter.org

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Affordable Housing

City Council Member Introduces Push for LA to Develop Social Housing

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Mike Bonin, City Council - Photo from mikebonin.com

LOS ANGELES (Urbanize LA) — The City of Los Angeles could be getting into the housing development game, according to a motion recently introduced by Councilmember Mike Bonin.

SVA Architects Citing a study from the California Housing Partnership and Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, Bonin notes that Los Angeles County needs to add more than 500,000 units of affordable housing simply to meet existing demand from low-income renters.

Given the scale of the current shortfall of low-income and mid-range workforce housing, Bonin contends that the region will never address its needs by relying solely on private sector builders to developer affordable housing through tax credits, subsidies, and zoning incentives.

Instead, Bonin proposes the development of social housing – housing that is both built and owned by the government. But rather than the housing projects […]

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