AHF Praises Newsom for Signing Bill to Convert Buildings into Affordable Housing

In Featured, News by Ged Kenslea


Also commends California Assembly Member Miguel Santiago for authoring AB Bill 1695, which makes adaptive reuse of existing buildings permanently eligible for the state’s affordable multifamily housing loan programs


The bill, which defines ‘adaptive reuse’ to mean the retrofitting and repurposing of an existing building to create new residential units, was signed yesterday by Gov. Newsom


LOS ANGELES (September 29, 2022) California Assembly Bill 1695 (Miguel Santiago, D- 53rd District), which will allow for state funding and loans for the development of affordable multifamily housing projects utilizing ‘adaptive reuse’ of existing buildings, was signed into law yesterday by California Governor Gavin Newsom. The bill was sponsored by AHF.


“We are thrilled that Governor Newsom signed AB 1695, a bill that, through the incredible leadership of Assembly Member Miguel Santiago, promotes affordable housing through adaptive reuse – the use of existing buildings like vacant hotels and other underutilized buildings,” Susie Shannon, Policy Director for Housing Is A Human Right (HHR), AHF’s housing advocacy division. “Experience has shown that utilizing existing buildings and infrastructure can help house people for less money and quicker than traditional building. Over 70,000 units and multiple buildings are vacant in the City of Los Angeles with over 41,000 people who are unhoused. Promoting adaptive reuse is a step in the right direction.”


Santiago’s bill streamlines creation of thousands of cost-effective housing units desperately needed to help house California’s homeless and extremely-low-income population. California currently ranks number one in homelessness in the U.S., with just over 161,000 individuals reportedly homeless.


AB 1695 would:

“This bill would provide that any notice of funding availability issued by the department for an affordable multifamily housing loan program shall state that adaptive reuse of a property for affordable housing purposes is an eligible activity. The bill would define “adaptive reuse” for these purposes to mean the retrofitting and repurposing of an existing building to create new residential units, as specified.”


Since 2017, AHF through its Healthy Housing Foundation (HHF) has been purchasing, restoring, and re-populating  13 Greater Los Angeles area single-room-occupancy buildings and other hotels and motels (1,425 rooms and counting) at a low cost, to provide everyday Angelinos with the access to desperately needed affordable housing for the city of Los Angeles. Healthy Housing Foundation works as a direct provider of housing for extremely-low-income and formerly homeless individuals and utilizes adaptive reuse of existing buildings to create its housing stock.


AHF’s housing advocacy division, Housing Is A Human Right, is also currently hosting an exhibit, “Adaptive Reuse: Transforming Buildings, Transforming Lives” in the lobby at HHF’s Barclay Hotel (103 4th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013). The exhibit is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.



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