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  • Alan Haffa

Councilmember Alan Haffa Is Committed to Affordable Housing

As a community college professor I see my students struggle to find affordable housing, and as a parent of two Monterey High School alumni, I want Monterey to be a city where children who grow up here can afford to live here. And this Covid 19 crisis has only highlighted how critical this issue is. And that's why I am so proud of the progress that this city council is making to address the affordability issue. It is gratifying to have my commitment for affordable housing recognized by renter advocacy groups; I am honored to be endorsed by Monterey Peninsula Renters United, Monterey Bay Renters Coalition and CA Rent Caucus. I'm also endorsed by the people who build housing, the Carpenters Union and the Santa Cruz/Monterey Building and Trades Council.

Monterey took immediate action to address housing during the Covid 19 crisis. We were the first city to pass an eviction moratorium during the Pandemic, so that people who rent don't have to worry about being out on the street trying to find housing at a time that they should be sheltering in place. In September we passed a rent increase moratorium to keep rents from skyrocketing during the health emergency when so many are seeing a loss of income.

Stable housing is a public health issue and Monterey City Council is acting appropriately to protect the health and safety of all residents. We also approved $800,000 for emergency rental assistance for people who have lost income due to Covid 19 and need help paying the rent. Please see the City of Monterey housing department website to apply.

Long term we need more housing that is preserved as affordable because the market simply cannot keep up with the demand in a tourists destination like Monterey. First, the city council has approved plans to seek out a non-profit development partner to build 100% affordable housing on surplus city land. In the next few weeks we will be looking at proposals and moving forward on a project that will provide as many as 50 new affordable apartments. Because the city contributes the land to the project we can demand that the rents be lower than market rate, making them affordable for regular, working people.

We also are modifying our zoning in commercial areas to allow greater density and height, incentivizing developers to build more affordable housing. On Garden Road we expect to see as many as 450 new apartments built. And in the East Downtown, we have a proposal to build 18 new units, with 6 affordable. Currently, you see a new building in construction on Munras across from Trader Joe's which will include 10 new units, 2 of which will be affordable. And there is a housing project on North Fremont that is in planning which will build 40 new apartments, 8 of which will be affordable.

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