SANTA MONICA—On Friday, February 2, the city of Santa Monica announced on its website that it earned a Prohousing Designation from the Governor of California. The city was highlighted for recognizing the city’s strong commitment to developing affordable housing and opening the door for added funding opportunities to help the city continue this work.
Santa Monica joins 37 other jurisdictions across the state that received the Prohousing Designation for demonstrated success in breaking down barriers to housing production. The city of Santa Monica reported local governments with the Prohousing Designation can apply for funding through the $9.5 million Prohousing Incentive Program and also receive priority when applying for several other funding programs.
The city has added housing production for various income levels with the Santa Monica City Council adopting the 6th Cycle Housing Element Update, with the first phase of implementation adopted in spring 2023.
The updates brought Santa Monica into compliance with new state housing regulations, and also:
-Created a streamlined administrative approval process and more efficient timelines for housing projects.
-Committed city-owned property for the development of affordable housing. Updated zoning development standards and removed barrers to support housing production across the city.
-Allowed new housing to be developed in non-residential zones where housing was previously not permitted.
-Provided opportunities for housing production on residentially zoned surface parking lots and community assembly sites to minimize displacement.
-Encouraged development of moderate-income housing citywide.
“Housing is a key piece of our work to foster a diverse community through equitable access to housing, regardless of someone’s income level. And it’s particularly important to our economic recovery and in our efforts to prevent and address homelessness,” said City Manager David White. “The city has successfully aligned with the state housing laws thereby removing ‘red tape’ for those that want to invest in Santa Monica.”
The city has made strides towards the goal of its housing needs in the first few years of the Housing Element cycle. There are over 5,800 housing units approved, pending, or under construction in the city, about 20 percent of which are aimed for moderate, low and very low income residents.
For more details on the city’s housing progress and approved housing projects, visit santamonica.gov/planning-resources.