In a letter to Culver City’s Community Development Director Sol Blumenfeld dated November 8, 2021, the Division of Housing Policy Development in Sacramento has reviewed Culver City’s first submission of the Draft Housing Element and is requesting changes before the city can resubmit.
The legal language of the rejection points to a need for more information, and more outreach. “The element must be revised to add or modify goals and actions based on the outcomes of a complete analysis. Goals and actions must specifically respond to the analysis and to the identified and prioritized contributing factors to fair housing issues and must be significant and meaningful enough to overcome identified patterns and trends. Actions must have specific commitment, metrics, and milestones as appropriate and must address housing mobility enhancement, new housing choices and affordability in high opportunity areas, place-based strategies for community preservation and revitalization and displacement protection.”
The 13 page long document, signed by Paul McDougal, the senior program manager at the state’s Division of Housing Policy Development, goes into detail on revisions that must be addressed from current housing inventory to realistic capacity. The state also specifically recommends that the city “should employ additional methods for public outreach, particularly including lower-income and special needs households and neighborhoods with higher concentrations of lower-income and special needs households.”
In response to the state’s requests for revisions, Mayor Alex Fisch offered, “From the beginning, I have emphasized that state law requires us to set forth a credible plan for the construction of 3,341 new homes in Culver City, and that we must show concretely how that plan will affirmatively further fair housing. HCD’s letter makes clear that our draft housing element must be revised to meet these twin mandates.”
While emotions have run high throughout the city in regard to changes in housing policy, this document isn’t a win or a loss for anyone; it’s the next step in the process. While the city was well ahead of the deadline in submitting this version of the required information, it is not unusual for these documents to be resubmitted and returned more than once.