Senate Bill 580, legislation that would generate funding for affordable housing while preserving historical homes near the proposed 710 route, has cleared the legislature a unanimous vote.
The bill, authored by Senator Carol Liu (SD – 25) and Assemblymember Chris Holden (AD – 41), now awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature.
Caltrans currently owns 460 homes that are not within the scope of the remaining 710 route alternatives. Nighty-seven of these homes are declared historic by the state or federal government.
“It has been a long time and a lot of work, but we finally are on track to put these excess properties back into responsible ownership and onto the tax rolls, stabilize neighborhoods, preserve historical homes, and move Caltrans out of the landlord and property management business,” said Senator Carol Liu.
Senate Bill 580 would allow a public affordable housing entity to purchase, rehabilitate, and resell the homes in order to dedicate the profits to build affordable housing in the same area. Historical homes would be offered to a housing entity that can restore it for public use or resale; or to a non-profit organization dedicated to rehabilitation and maintaining the home for public and community access and use.
“California is experiencing an affordable housing crisis and we must look at all our options to solve it,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “This bill is a creative, local solution that utilizes empty homes to generate affordable housing funding, while fostering preservation of historic homes.”
Meanwhile, Caltrans will sell 42 of the properties under orders by both the state Legislature and the governor. Offers on the homes, including 39 single-family and three milti-family residences, can reportedly be made at the end of September. The properties are located in South Pasadena, Pasadena, El Sereno.
The homes are no longer needed since the a 710 Freeway surface route is no longer a consideration. However, Caltrans could still ultimately push for a tunnel system.
South Pasadena City Manager said he was pleased upon hearing about the pending sale of Caltrans’ 42 homes. Thirty-three of the properties on the list are from South Pasadena, three are in Pasadena and six more in El Sereno, a community of Los Angeles.
“We’re very excited about the news and appreciate the efforts by Caltrans to get these homes sold as soon as possible,” said Gonzalez. “Caltrans has owned over 100 properties in the City of South Pasadena for more than five decades with many tenants living in very poor conditions. Selling the homes gives existing tenants an opportunity to become homeowners and gets the the properties back on traditional tax rolls instead of the highway fees the city receives from Caltrans. It’s difficult to state just just how much more revenue the city and other taxing agencies like school districts will see from the sales since it’s largely based on market conditions and final sale price. When the tunnel is dumped once and for all, even more homes will be sold and neighborhoods restored. But, one thing is for sure, it’s certainly a good thing that Caltrans is getting out of being a lan