Gateway Cities Affordable Housing Trust Formation Approved
Tuesday, January 24, 2023
The Gateway Cities Council of Governments’ Board of Directors approved the formation of a new Gateway Cities Affordable Housing Trust on January 4, 2023. Given the cost and complexity associated with affordable housing development, developers face steep challenges in securing financing that covers the full expense of such projects. A Gateway Cities Affordable Housing Trust can apply and advocate for the subregion’s fair share of funding, from the State, the County (including the newly approved Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency), and even private and philanthropic sources, to help meet the affordable housing needs of the Gateway Cities subregion. The Trust is intended to fund housing projects for all affordable income categories including low to moderate income, and fund all types (permanent, interim) and tenures (ownership and rental) of affordable housing projects.
A Trust Steering Committee, including representatives from member cities, LA county representatives, as well as affordable housing developers and financing entities reviewed, developed, and approved the proposed Trust governance structure, vision and mission, funding strategy, and Joint Powers Agreement structure. The Steering Committee unanimously recommended the formation of an affordable housing trust for the Gateway Cities sub-region.
"The Gateway Cities Affordable Housing Trust will serve as a vital new source of funding for affordable housing construction in the region. Membership in the Trust will demonstrate the deep commitment that Gateway Cities have to the creation, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable housing, which will revitalize our communities and provide opportunities for lower income families and individuals for generations to come." Thaddeus McCormack, City Manager, City of Lakewood
The Trust will help cities in the COG subregion address their Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) which is mandated by State Housing Law. RHNA quantifies the need for housing within each jurisdiction during specified planning periods. The cities within the COG subregion have been allocated 76,709 additional housing units during the 2021-2029 planning period. In contrast, through the end of the last eight years from 2013 through 2021, the COG subregion received tax credit funding for only 58 projects totaling nearly 6,000 housing units.
A 2022 survey of COG cities revealed that there are 38 affordable housing projects totaling nearly 4,000 units currently in the pipeline that have not yet started construction. Most of these projects need critical gap subsidy funding to start construction, and could benefit from additional funding provided by the Trust.
“The Gateway Cities Affordable Housing Trust will be a powerful tool in the toolbox for our 27 cities as they seek to increase the supply of affordable housing for the residents of southeast Los Angeles County. The cities that join the Trust can collaborate to leverage local housing dollars and multiply them with state, federal and even philanthropic contributions to support the development of thousands of units in the affordable housing pipeline in our subregion.” Melani Smith, Director of Regional Development, Gateway Cities Council of Governments
Gateway COG member cities are being solicited to join the Trust now, and Gateway COG officials intend to form the Board for the new Trust by May of 2023, in order to take advantage of matching funding sources that will soon be available.