Homes 4 the Homeless

Churches step in to find innovative housing for the unsheltered

The parking lot of Clairemont Lutheran Church is seen here, May 28, 2019.

This week, housing authorities in Los Angeles predicted a tidal wave of homelessness following the shutdowns. Currently, L.A. County counts roughly 15,000 chronically homeless individuals. Over the next four years, the forecast calls for that number to nearly double, with an increase estimated at 86%.

Thank goodness faith in humanity still exists, and you can find it at church groups across the country.  While many are not be actively worshipping on Sundays in many places due to the Pandemic, many are still meeting and doing good work.

In Pasadena, a recent public meeting was organized by city planners with over 100 people meeting to discuss a new city-wide Zoning Code amendment that would allow permanent housing options on religious facility-owned properties.

In San Diego, Clairemont Lutheran Church seeks to build approximately 12 low- income homes on existing parking lots, after the City eliminated parking standards based on pew count and reduced overall requirements.

Meanwhile,  State Assembly Bill AB 1851, adopted on September 28, sets new parking standards for housing on land owned by religious institutions, reducing the required number of spaces. This would free up land to be used for housing development. The bill also amends the Density Bonus Law in a number of ways, most notably,  increasing the maximum density bonus from 35% to 50%. If housing is allowed on a site, a 50% density bonus will now be an option.

In a survey from the meeting in Pasadena, “How do you feel about allowing affordable housing on religious property?” 85% of the participants were “generally in support,” and only four percent of participants said they were “generally opposed.” Another 12%  said that they would be “supportive with appropriate conditions.”

This matches interest we have seen at Homes 4 the Homeless from church congregations. We urge any that have an interest to contact us so we can help in your project development.

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