In recent years, the city of Palmdale saw housing costs outpace
the area’s income levels, resulting in a shortage of affordable
housing in the area. The Courson Arts Colony, the latest
component of Palmdale’s city center revitalization and housing
innovation, provides affordable housing and incorporates an arts
component to serve as a healing element for veterans who may be
suffering from PTSD.
A dynamic group of committed religious, community, housing, and
local government leaders in Walnut Creek came together to solve
one of our state’s most pressing problems: the need for more
affordable housing. Working together they created St. Paul’s
Commons, a mixed-use, transit-oriented affordable housing
development that opened its doors to residents in February 2020,
just before the pandemic hit.
El Centro was one of the first recipients of funding under
Homekey, a statewide program designed to house those experiencing
homelessness. Through a partnership between the city and a local
college, the funding was leveraged to construct 26 tiny homes
that will provide two years of permanent housing for college
students who are former foster youths and are experiencing or at
risk of experiencing homelessness.
Over the past year, cities have implemented a variety of programs
to help keep vulnerable populations housed, but cities need
to look beyond short-term relief. Local planning and policy
decisions present some unique opportunities to remedy
longstanding inequities, specifically through the housing element
update process and activities related to AB 686.
The decisions that we make every day as city leaders, especially
housing and land use decisions, cannot be made in a vacuum. All
city services and programs must be viewed through a lens of
equity, and this new Advancing Equity Advisory Committee will
play an integral role in identifying how cities can recognize and
eliminate disparities in our systems.