Naturally, there’s no mention here of possibly imposing citywide rent control or apartment unit set-asides to realistically address this problem.
Instead, it’s only about building lots more apartments in Burbank and even more new condos — which will only raise and not lower our existing rents.
This affordable housing study session is an opportunity for the City Council to discuss the need for affordable housing in the community. The goal is to develop a strategy for affordable housing production that is responsible and appropriate for the Burbank community.
There is a housing crisis across the state, region, and in Burbank. The median sales price for an existing home in Burbank is $725,000, an increase of 6.7 percent from $679,000 since 2015.
At the same time, apartment rental prices are rising faster than household incomes. The current median rent price for a two-bedroom unit in Burbank ranges from $1,850 to $2,504, according to the latest rent data. As rents increase, so has the housing cost burden for households in Burbank. A total of 9,720 Burbank households, or 24%, are severely burdened by housing costs.
In other words, almost 10,000 households pay more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs. Finally, housing supply has not kept up with population growth. Recent demographic estimates show that about 108,000 persons live in Burbank, and the daytime workforce population is almost 150,000 each work day.
Our community does not have housing to accommodate the large number of highly paid workers, let alone affordable housing options for lower and moderate income households. Most of Burbank’s workforce travel to work here every day, shop and dine in Burbank, volunteer with Burbank non-profit organizations (some may sit on their boards), and some send their children to Burbank schools. Yet many who would choose to live in Burbank cannot be accommodated because there is a limited supply of housing. This is particularly problematic for low and moderate income families. In the last two years, only 33 units were produced in the City…
Especially when the city so easily allows people like the Cusumanos to knock down our more affordable older apartments in order to make room for their tacky dream projects.
In addition to lack of housing options for the Burbank workforce, current residents in rental housing have faced rent increases greater than 10%, sometimes as high as 30%, and at times doubling in the last 12 months. Staff receives numerous calls weekly, and the Landlord Tenant Commission meets regularly with tenants and landlords to mediate and assist with negotiating these rent increases. To make ends meet, studies show that households have to share an apartment or single family home, and many households have to ultimately move out of Burbank sometimes uprooting children from school.
Gee, too bad there’s no solution to our raising rent problem.
As stated earlier, this discussion is an opportunity to lay out a housing strategy for current Burbank households and the Burbank workforce. The workforce travels across our community, their children are already in our schools, and services in Burbank will continue to serve them as long as the workforce is employed in our City. The “real cost” of not housing our workforce and current residents with affordable housing options relative to each household need, is displacement of long-time residents and overcrowding in the units we do have. About 2,400 Burbank households live in over-crowded units.
Naturally, here’s staff’s chosen recommendation:
LACK OF HOUSING PRODUCTION
Studies show that the housing crisis can be primarily attributed to: 1) lack of housingproduction overall; and 2) lack of units available and affordable for all income levels. SCAG summarizes what is “holding up” housing production in the following manner:
1) Lack of Funding – Many jurisdictions do not have permanent funding to build housing. Subsidized housing may not produce enough revenue and other forms of land use may be preferred;
2) Regulatory Barriers – There are a number of development requirements that can delay or stop a residential project. These requirements can also add to the cost of a project; 3) Local Zoning Requirements – These requirements, such as development standards, can restrict the number of units or render them unaffordable for many; and
4) Resistance to Development – Misinformation and possibly miscommunication can lead to community opposition to residential projects.
Build more buildings!
“AFFORDABLE” HOUSING NEED
What is affordable housing? It is critical to understand there is a need for “affordable” housing for all segments of the live and work population. This is much different than the traditional understanding of affordable housing only for lower-income households. The table on the following page summarizes the make-up of the current Burbank community.
And here’s their suggestions for discussion:
What are Burbank’s options? As a community, do we:
1. Allow the development of housing?
2. Require low-income housing units in all market-rate projects?
3. Implement low-income housing fees for small residential projects and all commercial projects?
4. Encourage development of second dwelling units in single family residential zones?
5. Contribute funding to developments that follow City Council’s goals and policies?
6. Utilize the Housing Authority’s power of eminent domain to assemble properties?
7. Utilize City-owned properties if/where appropriate?
8. Continue to work with representatives at the state level to create permanent funding source for housing? These are only a few goals and options to begin the conversation. The longer list of ideas for the creation of affordable housing in the community, along with the pros and cons of each, is included in Exhibit A.
Again, this study session is an opportunity for the City Council to: 1) Discuss ways to accommodate and even encourage affordable housing production; and 2) Direct staff as to which strategies may be preferred for affordable housing production that is responsible and appropriate for the Burbank community.
No, it’s an “opportunity” for them to validate large-scale development in Burbank. Which will do NOTHING to lower our local housing costs, especially for tenants. More new buildings will make the prevailing rents go up.
Sure, if 10,000 new units suddenly hit the local market it might depress it enough to temporarily drop the asking price on apartment rentals (which would never happen for those current tenants who already have a place). But they’d all quickly go right back up, especially in the absence of rent control!