From 6:00-7:00 pm, GPAHG will be presenting 60 letters that were signed at the Martin Luther King Day prayer vigil, urging the Trustees and the City to abide by an agreement that would insure 169 units of affordable housing at Chang Commons. Nearly 100 people showed up for this vigil, including faculty and students from Fuller and religious leaders.
Heritage Square South is also coming up for another vote on Monday, and according to a very reliable source, it's not a "done deal." We need to rally once again to let the City Council know we want this project to move forward quickly, and not be kicked down the road.
On Monday, the Housing Department will present its recommendation with the following three components:
1) That this project be exempt from the CA Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This will expedite this project.
2) That the City enter into negotiations with Bridge Housing to become the developer for a mixed use project on Heritage Square South without competitive bidding. Again, this will expedite the project since Bridge Housing developed Heritage Square North and will be able to move forward quickly.
3) Community Outreach. The Housing Dept is recommending that an advisory board be established with various stake holders (neighbors, schools, faith-based organizations, etc.) with this working group being selected by the Housing Director. There would then be a public approval process involving the Northwest Commission (advisory), Economic Development and Technology Committee (recommendation) and City Council (approval). This process is the same as what was used to develop Heritage Square North. It will delay the project but is probably necessary.
It is important to show the City Council that we are unwavering in our support for homeless housing and the Housing Department. We'd like to have 69 people show up --- one for every unit of affordable housing that could be produced on Heritage Square South!
Please let us know if you can join us, or if you can't, please write to the City Council and let them know that you support the Housing Department's Staff Report.
Here's a sample letter to send to the City Council via firstname.lastname@example.org :
Dear Mayor and City Council members, [Introduce yourself, what you do for living, what church or group you belong to. For example, "As a person of faith and a member of the Greater Pasadena Affordable Housing Group, I want to commend the City Council for approving the use of Heritage for mixed use, including 65-70 units of homeless senior housing"].
I am glad that you are moving forward quickly on the Heritage Square South project. As you know all too well, the need is urgent. I therefore urge you to approve the Housing Department's recommendation that we use Bridge Housing as the developer, exempt this project from CEQA, and follow the community outreach activities that were successfully used to bring to completion the Heritage Square senior housing project.
Here's the staff report that's under consideration: