City Council to discuss potential representative to join new housing solutions agency

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Santa Clarita City Council is slated Tuesday to discuss and appoint a potential representative to join a new state-established affordable housing solutions agency for Los Angeles County. 

“The agency was established through state legislation, Senate Bil 679, which was signed by the governor at the end of 2022, and it’s specific to L.A. County,” said Masis Hagobian, governmental relations officer for the city of Santa Clarita.  

“It forms the L.A. County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency, and the legislation prescribes the membership of the board of directors for the agency. It not only requires that it be a 21-member board of directors, but it also prescribes essentially the makeup of that board of directors, which includes a representative from each of the five subregions in L.A. County.” 

SB 679, the Los Angeles County Regional Housing Finance Act, establishes the L.A. County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency for the purpose of increasing “the supply of affordable housing” in the county. The agency will look to enhance funding and technical assistance at a regional level for renter protections, affordable housing preservation and new affordable housing production, according to the language in the bill. 

“What we’re doing is we’re taking this to City Council to identify a council member that would essentially be recommended to the city selection committee, and then the city selection committee would be the next step in electing a representative for our sub region,” Hagobian said.  

There are various requirements for a candidate to be approved and selected to join the 21-member board of directors, but ultimately the Los Angeles County City Selection Committee will make its decision, according to SB 679. 

City officials said it’s too early to predict how successful the new agency will be in its efforts to establish funds or other solutions for homelessness, though they expressed the agency could be a benefit not only to the county but also the city of Santa Clarita as well. 

Los Angeles County Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, said she believes in a collaborative approach to solving challenges. She’s hopeful that this new agency will create “unity of effort” among stakeholders wanting to create more affordable housing to keep families and vulnerable community members off of the streets. 

“The good news is that the LACAHSA’s future efforts can complement the work already underway in our county, thanks to the action plan created by the Blue-Ribbon Commission on Homelessness and the county’s recently proclaimed state of emergency on homelessness — both resulting from motions I authored,” Barger wrote in an email.  

“However, we have a lot of details to iron out, including what revenue sources will be used to support LACAHSA and how it can support our county’s existing programs, departments and agencies,” she added. 

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