Anaheim introduces new approach to creating affordable housing

The City of Anaheim plans to lower rents at more than 1,000 apartments to create affordable "workforce housing" using a new state program avoiding additional expenses for tax payers.

"Affordable housing is an issue statewide. The state has certain mandates put on cities to create a certain share of affordable housing and Anaheim’s share is not insignificant," said Councilman Trevor O’Neil who lead the efforts for the city to join the program. "We’re doing it creatively where we have other cities like Los Angeles and Long Beach that raise taxes and fees in order to fund their affordable housing projects." 

The affordable housing will be focused on Anaheim’s workforce including nurses, first responders, and teachers who may not qualify for affordable housing properties, but struggle to meet rising rent prices where they work in Anaheim. 

The program issues tax-exempt bonds for the units and pays them back through the adjusted collected rent.  It was created over the summer by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, an agency that helps provide funding for public benefit projects. 

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