The City of Carson Consolidated Plan presents a strategic vision for housing and community development for the city. It includes a One-Year Action Plan for the 1995/1996 funding cycle for spending approximately $1.5 million dollars from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. These funds will primarily be used for housing rehabilitation and commercial rehabilitation targeted for low income households and needed public services for this community.
The City of Carson used an advisory task force model in developing its Consolidated Plan. This
task force is the city s Citywide Advisory Committee, which is a standing committee of
residents to advise the City Council on matters related to the Block Grant. The Committee
determined the process, set priorities and programs, and reviewed all text and graphics in the
plan. All portions of the plan were approved by the Citywide Advisory Committee before being
submitted to the City Council for final approval. The Citywide Advisory Committee held seven
public meetings for the development of the plan, including two public hearings. All households
in census tracts including at least some portion of a Block Grant target area received a
questionnaire requesting their input in the process. This included over half of the households
in the City of Carson. All city commissioners and board members also received surveys for their
input. The committee used the survey results in setting its priorities for the Community
Development Block Grant Program. Included in the survey was an invitation to public hearings.
All meetings were duly noticed as required by the State of California and eighty-eight
homeowner associations and other groups requesting such notices received notices of the
The city is racially very diverse where each sub-group (white, black, Asian and
Pacific Islander, and Hispanic populations) comprising between 22% and 28% of the
population. Regarding households, most households in each racial category are above 95%
of the median family income (MFI) for the Los Angeles County region. The exception is for
Hispanic households, where only 44% of the households are above 95% of MFI. Median
family income for the city as a whole at the time of the 1990 census was $47,387.
Adjusted for inflation, the figure would be closer to $50,000.
The majority of households in the City of Carson live in homes they own. The ratio of owners to renters is 3.76 to 1. The vast majority of the owner occupied dwellings have three or more bedrooms, while the renter households are split roughly evenly between units of one, two, or three or more bedrooms. Census data indicates that even very-low income families are more likely to own their own homes than to rent. Among very-low income elderly, the ratio of owners to renters is over 4 to 1. Citywide for all income levels, the ratio is slightly below 4 to 1. According to the 1992 Regional Housing Needs Assessment prepared by the Southern California Association of Governments, approximately 53% of the 1,981 homes needed in the City of Carson by the end of 1994 were needed for high-income households. Of the remainder, 29% are needed for low- and very low-income households and 18% for moderate-income households. There is no public housing in the City of Carson. The city has an agreement with the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission to provide Section 8 housing in the city and to provide spaces in low-income buildings in surrounding communities for Carson residents.
The Consolidated Plan identifies two primary areas for action that include are rehabilitation of the existing housing stock and increasing the affordability of housing. Addressing the rehabilitation of the existing housing, funds are necessary to assist low-income households to maintain their homes. The second priority to increase housing affordability can be met through rental assistance to individual residents or through construction/land purchase assistance thereby reducing the overall cost of the construction of the affordable housing project. The Consolidated Plan identifies the greatest need for affordable home ownership for large families, followed by affordable rental units for large families, then small family ownership units, small family rental, then the elderly.
The city has approximately 24,441 year round housing units with 2,655 units within mobile home parks and 5,001 of the total unit being rental. Approximately 3% of the total units are vacant at any given time. Recent trends for housing construction within the city have been market rate, single family homes. During the late 1980s, condominium construction was the trend. No rental apartments have been proposed or constructed in several years due primarily to market forces. Information obtained from local lending institutions indicates that attached multi-family construction and attached condominium construction are difficult to finance. This is contributing factor toward the trend to construct single family homes. According to the California Association of Realtors, the percentage of families who could afford a median price home in Los Angeles County has risen from 30% to 37% in the last year. Two years ago, this rate was below 20%. One factor that has contributed to this is a reduction in interest rates making a home increasingly affordable.
The need for affordable housing is a large concern for the community. There are three HUD subsidized low-income apartments developments with 212 units. Current market conditions do not favor subsidy termination as many developments that are not subsidized are seeking subsidies and when there are vacancies in the three subsidized buildings, they are quickly filled. These facts indicate an unmet need for rental subsidies. Construction of single family housing has been targeted toward market rate housing but sales have been very sluggish for high priced homes and very good for moderate priced homes or lower. This fact suggests that there is a need for affordable homes. One indicator toward needs is overcrowding. Overcrowding is more pronounced in rental housing indicating a need for larger units in this market. Due to the recent construction of two senior housing buildings, the need for additional senior housing is limited specially due to the slow absorption of these units into the market.
Primarily because of their small numbers (less than 10), this population was considered a low priority for outreach assessment, permanent supportive housing, and permanent housing. Surrounding jurisdictions have shelters and related services for the homeless and therefore the homeless migrate to these communities and this is why the city has such a low homeless population.
There is no public housing in the City of Carson and therefore no inference to the need for additional public housing can be made. Assisted housing needs are currently being met through a series of group shelters and small family homes regulated by the State of California. We find that there is no trend to increase the numbers of these facilities and thereby conclude that assisted housing needs are being met.
The lack of affordable housing is a large problem and the primary factor is the cost of the land. The city has examined land use controls, development standards, building codes, fees, taxes and procedures to identify significant barriers. The analysis of these issues reveals that these items are not as significant a barrier to affordable housing when compared to the high cost of the land that sometimes is a result from a property owners unrealistic expectation. Several amendments to the city ordinances have been implemented which allow increased densities and more efficient development standards for affordable and senior housing projects. The city has streamlined the entitlement process and practices a customer friendly attitude whenever possible which facilitates projects rather than impedes them. One barrier to affordable housing that is common is neighborhood opposition based upon inaccurate perceptions about the residents and the feeling that an affordable project is a cheap project.
The city contracts with the Long Beach Fair Housing Foundation which provides fair housing services for the community. The primary activity that the foundation addresses in the city is tenant landlord disputes rather than impediments to housing choice. Where impediments to housing choice are asserted, foundation staff investigate and take appropriate actions. The city will be conducting further study of this area in the coming months in order to more accurately understand if there is an unmet need in this area.
According to HUD, more than three-fourths of pre-1978 homes in the United States contain
lead-based paint. For Carson, this would mean that approximately 18,300 homes contain lead-based paint. However, there are several factors reducing the risk of lead poisoning in this
community. First, more than two-thirds of Carson homes were built in the 1960 s or later. Due
to weather conditions in Carson that are much less severe than in the nation as a whole,
residents are less likely to have accumulated the numerous layers of paint that can lead to
hazardous conditions. The citys home rehabilitation inspectors inspect for lead-based paint
hazards and city building inspectors look for the conditions where lead intake are evident. Even
though the rehabilitation inspectors check approximately 100 homes each year, they report no
instances of such conditions and hazards. Because they normally work with the older homes
more in need of maintenance (including paint), it can reasonably be assumed that the incidence
of lead-based paint hazards are low in the other homes in the community as well. According
the Los Angeles County Department of Health, there were 3 confirmed cases of lead poisoning
in the City of Carson in 1994 which is not a significant number.
Priorities for affordable housing include increasing the supply of housing and reducing the cost burden for low income households and the elderly although two new senior housing developments have met a majority of this need. A high priority is the maintenance of the existing housing stock that are primarily single family owner occupied due to the high percentage of these units within the city.
Priorities for homeless are low due to limited numbers of homeless within the city. A field survey was conducted and 6 unsheltered homeless were observed and it appeared that these people were moving through the city as there is a lack of supportive services. Priorities for sheltered homeless are considered moderate as the needs for this sub-population are currently being met through a large number of community care facilities operated in single family homes.
The priority for non-homeless persons with special needs involves supportive housing with supportive services for the frail elderly, persons with HIV/AIDS and other persons with special needs. Limited data exists for most of these sub-populations but an existing retirement center recently modernized its facilities to support persons afflicted with Alzheimers disease.
Priorities include the construction of missing infrastructure with public funds available from the Carson Redevelopment Agency in order to facilitate lower development costs for projects including affordable housing projects. The city has created a mixed-use corridor where housing and commercial activities are encouraged to co-exist. Incentives for affordable housing projects to be located in the corridor are in place. Economic development is a high priority for the community. Increasing the opportunities for local businesses creates jobs and increases tax revenues to assist supportive services for the community. The city accomplishes these goals by providing training and job placement for its residents and technical and financial assistance for businesses to expand and located in the community.
While providing or subsidizing housing improves the living standard or reduces the cost burden of those living in poverty, it does not in and of itself reduce the number of poverty level families. They may be left with more money for other needs. The city's economic development and social service efforts more directly address lifting families out of poverty. Through education and job placement programs, families' incomes rise. The rehabilitation of neighborhood commercial center creates jobs.
The Redevelopment Agency creates jobs through its business attraction policies. Land write-downs, sales tax rebates, and infrastructure are some of the tools the Agency uses. The Agency encourages development that creates jobs and invests in the community . All told, the city anticipates 5,000 additional jobs will be created over the next five years. Even if only 25 percent of these jobs lifted a family out of poverty, that would be 1,250 families.
The City of Carson has several resources to provide community development services. The primary federal source is the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and Section 8 administered through the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission. State resources are available through the Carson Redevelopment Agency where 20% of its budget is earmarked for affordable housing. The remainder of the budget targeted to blighted areas for infrastructure and economic development activities which indirectly effect affordable housing. Local resources identified are current programs operated by the city under its general fund and a wide array of private programs.
The City of Carson, Community Development Department is responsible for the Consolidated
Plan activities but several private organizations are involved in administering key components.
An example of this is that many public services that are funded are operated by private non-profit organizations and fair housing is contracted to a local foundation. The city coordinated
the preparation of its Consolidated Plan with neighboring jurisdictions but also recognizes that
this effort generated little interest. The city coordinates the programs and projects that it has
direct control over well, but coordination of efforts between neighboring jurisdictions including
Los Angeles County has proven difficult in the past and needs further attention.
The City of Carson Action Plan outlines the use of approximately 1.5 million dollars of Community Development Block Grant funds. The funds will be spent on the following items:
The Neighborhood Pride Program is targeted to those Block Groups where 38.9% of the households have low or moderate income levels, but a qualifying applicant is not denied participation solely due to being located outside of these Block Groups. The commercial rehabilitation program for the 1995/1996 CDBG program year is located in a target Block Group near the corner of Victoria Street and Avalon Boulevard near the California. State Dominguez Hills campus. The public service providers are primarily located within the city and serve low to moderate income residents of Carson and therefore their service is not geographically specific.
Most of the key projects are implemented by the City of Carson. The city contracts to the Long Beach Fair Housing Foundation for fair housing service and the city funds between 6-10 local private non-profit organizations. The Los Angeles County Community Development Commission acts as the lead agent for the administration of the Section 8 program for the community.
The goals for the city during the 1995/1996 program year primarily involve the rehabilitation of approximately 120 single family homes for low/mod income households. Through the Carson Redevelopment Agency, a goal is to assist in the financing of three projects totaling approximately 200 units to make them affordable.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.
MAP 10 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.