BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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          AB 1641 (Hall)
          As Amended  May 11, 2010
          Majority vote 

           HOUSING             6-3                                          
          |Ayes:|Torres, Arambula,         |     |                          |
          |     |Bradford, Eng, Saldana,   |     |                          |
          |     |Torlakson                 |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |Nays:|Gilmore, Knight, Tran     |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           SUMMARY  :  Establishes that public housing projects over 50-years-old  
          are blighted if they meet the blight definition and provides the  
          requirements for redeveloping public housing projects.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Declares that a government-owned housing project constructed prior  
            to January 1, 1960, may be blighted if it is characterized by one  
            or more economic or physical blight characteristic. 

          2)Requires a redevelopment agency that is undertaking activities or  
            funding to replace blighted government-owned housing projects must  
            do all of the following:

             a)   Complies with all the requirements of Community  
               Redevelopment Law (CRL);

             b)   Provides replacement housing on at least a one-to-one basis  
               of all existing public housing units affordable and occupied by  
               extremely-low, very-low and lower-income households, at the  
               same or lower-income levels as the household displaced by the  
               removed public housing units;

             c)   Requires replacement housing to be restricted by income  
               level for at least 55-years and be provided by the unit type  
               required by the displaced household;

             d)   Requires that replacement units must be inside the project  
               area or within a five-mile radius of the public housing that is  


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               being replaced; and, 

             e)   Requires households displaced by the removal of public  
               housing units to be offered permanent replacement housing at  
               the initial time of relocation, unless the household decides  
               not to accept the replacement housing.

          3)Provides that replacement units may be either publicly or  
            privately owned.

          4)Provides that additional privately owned housing units may be  
            available to moderate income households.

          5)Provides that workforce market-rate housing units, retail  
            services, commercial, industrial, educational, recreational and  
            other uses may be included in the development to serve the  
            residents of the area and public improvements inside and adjacent  
            to the project area. 

           COMMENTS  :  Community Redevelopment Law (CRL) requires redevelopment  
          agencies to insure that low- and moderate-income housing units are  
          replaced, if they are destroyed or removed as part of the  
          redevelopment of a project area.  Units are required to be replaced  
          on a one-to-one basis, with an equal or greater number of bedrooms  
          as those removed from the project area.  Redevelopment agencies are  
          required to develop a relocation plan for displaced low and moderate  
          income residents.  Prior to destroying or removing low-and  
          moderate-income units, the redevelopment agency must make sure that  
          qualified residents are relocated to replacement units. 

          According to the sponsor, the Los Angeles County Redevelopment  
          Agency (LACRA), LACRA is authorized under the CRL to act in areas of  
          the city that have been designated by the city council as being  
          eligible for redevelopment. After making findings required by law  
          and following the many required procedures, the LACRA and city  
          council may adopt redevelopment plans for areas of the city that  
          need revitalization.  In order to justify the creation of these  
          areas, LACRA must demonstrate that the conditions of the  
          neighborhood, specifically the buildings (both residential and  
          commercial), are blighted.
          Since units within these neighborhoods are considered federally  
          funded public housing developments, the housing authority is  
          obligated under its operating agreement with the U.S. Department of  


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          Housing and Urban Development (Public Housing Act of 1937) to  
          maintain the units in decent, sanitary and safe conditions.  By  
          determining that the neighborhood and specifically the residential  
          units are "blighted," LACRA would be making a determination that  
          would call into question the housing authority's compliance with its  
          operating agreements. This would be highly problematic and  
          jeopardize the operating subsidy that the authority receives for  
          these housing units and, thereby, endanger the housing for families  
          living within public housing.    

          When the federal government announced the closure of surplus  
          military bases in the 1990's and transferred ownership to local  
          governments, the California Legislature amended the CRL to allow for  
          the expedited adoption of redevelopment plans to provide for the  
          accelerated conversion of these former military bases into  
          productive civilian uses.  The "Military Base Conversion  
          Redevelopment Agencies" law made it possible for cities and counties  
          in California to place these targeted areas back on the tax roles  
          and authorized these areas into new commercial, industrial and  
          residential uses, including affordable housing. 
          A similar approach is needed for Los Angeles' older public housing  
          projects.  By seeking state legislation, that would apply the  
          precedent of the military base conversion statute to the  
          redevelopment of public housing sites, the LACRA and Housing  
          Authority of the City of Los Angeles would be able to establish a  
          test program in South Los Angeles where public housing projects such  
          as Jordan Downs and Nickerson Gardens in Watts, which combined  
          consist of 1,700 units of housing, may be converted into  
          well-designed privately owned mixed-income communities, while  
          ensuring the continued affordability of replacement housing at least  
          equal in number to the existing housing in the project area.
           If a redevelopment agency removed or a replaced public housing  
          project, this bill would require the agency to comply with all of  
          the provisions of the CRL.  Replacement housing would be required on  
          one-to-one units consistent with the income levels of existing  
          tenants including extremely-low income units and at the unit size  
          required for that income level.  The replacement housing would have  
          to be built and available to be occupied by displaced residents  
          before the public housing is demolished or renovated.   

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Lisa Engel / H. & C.D. / (916) 319-2085 FN:  


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