Affordable Housing, Homeless Shelters, Motel Reuse Discussed at Council Meeting

The Culver City Council this week discussed affordable housing plans for its "Housing Element" update due October 15.

Every eight years, Culver City is required by law to analyze its housing needs and compile data on housing stock and demographics for its Housing Element and also list sites that "realistic potential for housing development based on a jurisdiction's Regional Housing Needs Allocation number."

For the 2021-2029 planning period, Culver City has been mandated to build 3400 affordable housing units, city officials said in a report.

At Monday night's meeting, the councilmembers discussed a number of sites in Culver City that could developed to include affordable housing. But they also focused on guiding principles to be applied in preparing the housing element update, including "realistic capacity," housing density, and rezoning to accommodate housing.

"If we don't take seriously the housing element, we'll have a target on us," said Mayor Alex Fisch, explaining the city's failure to adopt a revised housing element would trigger substantial consequences, including the loss of zoning authority over projects with low-income units.

Following the discussion, the Council directed staff to draft a resolution with the guiding principles and bring it back to the Planning Commission for preliminary review in July.

In another matter, the Council tackled the issue of housing for the homeless. They also discussed the possibility of purchasing the Sunburst and Deano's motels on Sepulveda Boulevard and reusing them as homeless shelters.

But city staff replied "the asking price was too high."

The Council also reviewed sites that could be repurposed for homeless shelters. Those included two city parking lots on Venice Boulevard and one on Virginia Avenue. But the panel didn't take any action on this issue.

At the end of the homeless housing discussion, the Council approved another round of COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program, designed to prevent residents from falling into homelessness due to the pandemic.


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