U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


The City of Gardena, California is a full-service city of approximately 5.7 square miles. It has an ethnically and economically diverse population of 51,487, and over 19,000 occupied dwellings. Located just 13 miles south of metropolitan Los Angeles in the South Bay are of Los Angeles County, Gardena is situated near the intersection of three major transportation corridors: the Harbor (110), San Diego (405) and Artesia (91) Freeways.

Action Plan

For the 1995-1996 fiscal year, the City will receive $1,025,182 in Community Development Block Grant funds.

Citizen Participation

The Citizen Participation Plan consisted of three interacting components: the Community Development Needs Survey; Community Meetings; and the functioning of the Interdepartmental Working Group. The Community Development Needs Survey assisted the City in developing priorities for expenditure of CDBG funds by asking a diverse cross section of residents and service providers about their housing and community development needs. The community meetings consisted of a Community Forum with Gardena residents and an Issue Forum with Social Service Providers and City Commissioners. The City advertised its public meetings through newspaper ads and press releases and scheduled them at a time which would best suit the community.

The City began the Consolidated Planning process with a Community Forum on December 15, 1994 in the Nakaoka Community Center. The Forum informed the public about the Consolidated Plan Process and about opportunities for public input into the formulation of the Plan. Residents were able to express their housing and community development needs and concerns with staff from the City Manager's Office staff, as well as the City's Consolidated Plan consultants. A review of the Needs Assessment Survey was included.

The City allowed adequate timely notification of all public meetings and forums. As part of the 30 day public comment period, a summary of the Consolidated Plan was published in a newspaper of general circulation, providing information about he content and purpose of the Plan. Copies of the Draft Consolidated Plan were made available at the Public Library, City Hall and Housing Development Department. At the end of the 30 day period, the City Council adopted the Plan and forwarded it to HUD for approval. The final Consolidated Plan, amendments to the Plan, and annual performance reports will be available for five years at City Hall and public libraries in the City.


In addition to extensive residential uses, Gardena is balanced with industrial and commercial development. While historically it has been largely suburban, the City now finds itself impacted by the increasing urban pressures so prevalent throughout Los Angeles City and County. Population has grown significantly in the last 20 years and racial/ethnic characteristics have shifted dramatically. Housing density has increased with population growth, as have new challenges with crime, congestion, blight and aging infrastructure.



As with all communities in the early 1990's, Gardena's housing market has suffered in the economic downturn. Real estate values, lending activity, jobs, income and other housing resources have declined. Maintenance and beautification, which are so important to the largely aging housing stock, are at a minimum. Home sales and ownership opportunities have dropped emphatically. Moreover, the built-out character of the City leaves few developable land resources for new housing or any other real estate activity. Business closures (i.e. aerospace subcontracting) and tax revenue declines (i.e. sales tax) have made it impossible to adequately allocate resources for new or expanded programs. In short, while housing and other social needs have risen sharply in this difficult economic period, public and private resources have clearly diminished.

Housing Needs

The City has identified the need for assistance to low and moderate-income renters and low and moderate-income homeowners. Housing and supportive services are also needed for special needs populations such as low income elderly, frail elderly, handicapped, developmentally disabled, unemployed, underemployed, children of working parents, at-risk youth, substance abusers, victims of domestic abuse and persons with AIDS.

Market Conditions

There are too few available units affordable to lower income households. There are 446 low income large related renter households in the City, however there are only 229 affordable 3 or more bedroom units available. There are 1,157 lower income small related renter households, yet only 452 affordable 2 bedroom units are available. In addition there are 1,478 lower income owner households, yet there are only 997 affordable owner units. Moreover, rental vacancies in units affordable to lower income households are extremely low in number.

Affordable Housing Needs

1990 Census data indicates that 90 percent of all Lower Income Renter Households have "housing problems" (physical defects, overcrowding, cost burdens). Housing problems among lower income large related renter households are the most pervasive (100) percent, followed closely by Small Related Renter Households (90) percent). Many of these households can be found in the northeast sector of Gardena. Cost burden is a critical problem for lower income renters, 86 percent of whom spend over 30 percent of their income on rent, and 58.4 percent of whom spend over 50 percent of their income on rent. In connection with this, there is a severe shortage of affordable rental units for lower income, particularly for large and small related households. All racial groups among lower income renters have housing problems. Hispanics have the highest rate (96.7) percent, followed by other minority (i.e. Asian Pacific Islanders) and then Blacks at 85 percent.

Homeless Needs

Homelessness is an acute housing problem which has broadened in dimension in recent years. However, the unavailability of data documenting the extent of this problem in Gardena, compounded by the mobile nature of the Homeless, makes it difficult to establish an accurate estimate of the total number.

Many Homeless people are transient or, fearing authority, have made themselves "invisible". California's homeless population is placed between 75,000 to 100,000 and half of these are estimated to be found within Los Angeles County. In addition, the City's 1990 Housing Element estimates that approximately 2,000 homeless individuals are located in the Southern/Harbor Area of the County, which includes Gardena.

Homeless individuals and families have differing housing needs. both groups are in crisis and need emergency food, clothing and shelter. Long term transitional shelter on the other hand would have a different emphasis. The individual would do well in transitional housing such as cooperative or single-room occupancy facilities. Families require more housing amenities to accommodate their size and age range, thus lower income re-entry housing such as single or multi-family units would be most appropriate. Both groups desperately need supportive housing and social services. The needs of families are more complicated than those of individuals in that child care, pediatric care, and education must interact with basic health, mental health, employment and other supportive social and housing issues.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

As of November 30, 1994, there were 643 HUD Section 8 assisted units in the City of Gardena. There were 443 tenant-based contracts administered by the Los Angeles County Housing Authority. The County had 360 tenant-based contracts with families and 83 with elderly (age 62 or over) and/or disabled. Of the 360 family units, 343 are female-headed households, and of the 83 elderly units, 65 are female-headed households. There were also 200 HUD Section 8 assisted units that are project-based and administered by the non-profit Cooperative Services, Inc. All of these units are occupied by elderly tenants of the HUD 202 Senior Housing Facilities. As of November 30, 1994, Los Angeles County Housing Authority reported that there were 1,123 applicants for section for Section 8 housing on the waiting list.

There are no public housing units located within the incorporated limits of the City of Gardena.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

There are many factors which contribute to the cost, supply and distribution of housing. Developable vacant land is limited in Gardena since it is almost a fully built-out community. Most of the future construction will likely involve in-fill, consolidation of existing parcels, and zoning conversion to develop multi-family housing, including condominiums. Construction costs are another barrier to affordable housing. Materials and labor are the primary components of construction costs. The costs will vary widely depending on the quality of materials, features, design etc. The construction cost per square foot for a typical single family dwelling in the Los Angeles area increased three-fold in the past decade according to the Construction Industry Research Board, averaging about $58 per square foot for single family residences, and $52 per square foot for multi-family construction.

Financing costs, for the most part, are not subject to local influence. The control of interest rates is determined by national policies and economic conditions. As interest rates continue to remain in the single digits, housing construction and purchasing have become more attractive. Housing Costs, another barrier to affordable housing, can either expand or contract the number and type of families that can afford homeownership. When the price of new housing increases at a rate greater than income gains, more and more households are priced out of the homeownership market.

The City is aware of the important impact various government policies can have upon the availability of affordable housing within the community. As for local institutional constraints, the City has and will continue to review and revise procedures and regulations that are within its control.

Fair Housing

The City of Gardena has completed a Fair Housing Assessment which analyzed impediments to fair housing within the City. The City contracts with the Westside Fair Housing Council (WFHC) for general and direct fair housing services. An updated Fair Housing Assessment will be completed by the FHC which is highly experienced and active in the Southern California area. Fair Housing Services provided by contract have been excellent for client complaint follow-up.

Lead-Based Paint

The City estimates that as many as 75 percent of the pre-1978 housing stock may contain lead-based paint. In Gardena's case, an estimated 16,191 housing units were built prior to 1980, thus it is possible that 12,143 units contain lead-based paint. Moreover, in 1990 there were 4,298 units in Gardena occupied by lower income persons, thus approximately 75 percent or 3,224 of those may contain lead-based paint. There were also 3,243 moderate income households, approximately 75 percent or 2,432 which may have lead-based paint.

As a response to the lead-based paint hazard, the City of Gardena participates in the Lead-Poisoning Abate Program coordinated by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Division of Environmental Health. This program investigates sites where child lead poisoning cases are indicated and issues orders for abatement. When building permits and/or structural upgrading are required, the City Building and Safety Division actively participates in the abatement proceedings. In addition, the City's CDBG-funded HOME Maintenance Program provides lead poisoning warnings to every applicant.

Community Development Needs

The City of Gardena listed several non-housing community development needs in the Consolidated Plan as follows:


The Gardena City Manager's Office, Grants Administration Division served as the lead agency in coordination of the consolidated planning and submission process. The Grants Administrator was responsible for establishing the overall approach used in developing the Plan, and authored the City's CHAS which provided much of the Plan's content and foundation. The City was assisted by Cotton/Beeland/Associates in the development and preparation of the final plan document. The City engaged in extensive efforts in soliciting input from public and private agencies and from the community.


Vision for Change

The City has focused on aiding low and moderate income households who are most in need of housing and community development assistance.

Housing Priorities

Because poor housing conditions have the greatest impact on the lower income renter households, a rental rehabilitation program to improve the quality and condition of units will be pursued over the next five years. At the same time, density reduction will be sought where possible to create more units for lower income large and small related families. Matching rental assistance with rehabilitated units will also be a goal. The City will seek to complete an average of ten units per year over the next five years. In addition, the City will attempt to maximize the utilization of larger single family home occupied by singles and elderly persons. Matching families with single owners and possibly zoning for accessory apartments are activities the City will pursue the following programs will be utilized: Rental Assistance (HUD Section 8 Rental Vouchers and Certificates), Gardena Relocation Assistance Program, Gardena Rent Mediation, Fair Housing Services, Rental Rehabilitation (proposed).

Owner households are in need of owner-occupied rehabilitation programs, and flexibility in providing for room additions or second units. Lower and moderate income households would also benefit from homeownership assistance. Supportive social services in health, employment, child care and other quality of life issues are also needed. Implementing programs include: Handy-worker Fix-up, Light Housing Rehabilitation (Residential Rebates), Earthquake Damage Assistance Program, Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program (proposed), First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program, Mobile Home Park Ownership Conversion Assistance and Mobile Home Park Rehabilitation.

The City has also developed a strategy to address the needs of individuals and families that are homeless or threatened with homelessness. The most immediate needs of the homeless are emergency food, clothing and shelter. The more long-term needs are transitional housing, permanent housing and supportive services in mental health, health, employment and transportation. Implementing programs include: Emergency Services Program, Youth and Family Services, and Gardena Human Services.

Priority has also been given to addressing the needs of special populations such as the elderly, persons with disabilities, persons with alcohol or other drug addictions or persons with AIDs. Implementing programs include: Handyworker Fix-up Program, Light Housing Rehabilitation (Rebates), Senior Citizen Housing Development, Second units in R-1 Zone ("Granny Units"), Senior Citizen Housing Incentives, Senior Citizen Day Care Center, Socialization Center for the Mentally Handicapped, Handicapped Barrier Removal, Youth and Family Services Bureau Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Programs, Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Programs sponsored by non-profit agencies.

Non-housing Community Development Priorities

The City has developed strategies for non-housing community development needs. The priorities are listed as follows:

  1. Provide for improved and enhanced public buildings for delivery of services to person of lower and moderate income, including seniors, youth and families.
  2. Provide open park space and related recreational facilities to meet needs of residents.
  3. Provide for needed infrastructure improvements in low and moderate income target areas.
  4. Provide needed community services to those of low and moderate income.
  5. Provide for the access needs of the physically disabled.
  6. Provide for job training and economic development activities to reduce the number of persons in poverty.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

It has been City of Gardena policy for over 20 years to actively pursue programs that enhance residents' abilities to earn adequate income. In 1972, the City created the Department of Youth and community Services, now called the Human Services Division. In 1976, the City established the JTPA jobs program, the Older Americans Act Program for Seniors, and the CDBG jobs program using major federal resources. Through a combination of many years of aggressively pursuing grants (average of $6,000,000 per year) and of substantial General Fund commitments (more than $600,000 per year), the City has been able to provide a variety of anti--poverty programs including economic development, job training programs, as well as support programs.

The City of Gardena is committed to enhancing employment opportunities in its jurisdiction and is actively involved with the Gardena Valley Economic Development corporation (GVEDC). The major goals of GVEDC are: business retention, business relocation, relocation, establishment of a cultural arts center, establishment of foreign trade zones. An Early Warning System Subcommittee works with struggling existing and new businesses in the City through trouble shooting and through orienting them to the area. The GVEDC offers the business community help with permits, funding/banking, energy surveys, management services, marketing, new products and methods, equipment acquisition, and employee training. The City also participates in the new South Bay Economic Development Council which is working on a plan for marketing the South Bay area.

As a means of reducing the number of Gardena residents with incomes below the poverty line, it is important for the City to coordinate with both public and private organizations in economic development and job training programs.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The housing service and delivery system in Gardena consists of an extensive network of public, private, and non-profit organizations which sponsor housing activities and support services. Such institutions include: The City's Housing Authority, The County of Los Angeles Housing Authority, Community Development Department, Human Services Department, Public Works Department, Recreation Department, City Manager's Office, HUD, Department of Labor, L.A. County Department of Community & Senior Citizens Services, California Department of Aging, Federal Management Emergency Agency, L.A. County Department of Mental Health, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Services, Inc, Westside Fair Housing Council and the Chamber of Commerce.

The following organizations offer potential resources and experience for housing assistance projects: LISC, Los Angeles Community Design Center, Vermont-Slauson Economic Development Corporation, Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc., Drew Economic Development Corporation, Foundation for Quality Housing, and the Los Angeles Family Housing Corporation.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The Gardena community possesses an intricate community service and leadership network. The Gardena City hall is at the center of this network. For over 20 years, the City has provided most of the essential direct housing, community development, and social services in the community, enhancing the quality of life for its diverse population.

The City has established an Interdepartmental Working Group which will act to enhance cooperative relationships both among City departments and outside agencies. Departments represented in the Working Group are responsible for providing services, facilities, and infrastructure for lower and moderate income residents, and will have more focused contact with residents via the recently formed 34 Community Action Network,


The following summarizes the City's 1995/1996 CDBG funded programs by type of activity:

  1. CDBG Program Administration
  2. Administration/Westside Fair Housing Council
  3. Administration/Economic Development Planning/Consolidated Planning
  4. Handyworker Housing Repair & Light Rehabilitation Program
  5. Village Mobile Home Park/Rehabilitation
  6. Senior Citizens Services Bureau
  7. Handicapped Barrier Removal, Public Facilities
  8. Street Improvements in Low to Moderate Income Areas
  9. Employment & Training


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction

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, and proposed HUD funded projects.

TABLE (without associated map) provides information about project(s).

To comment on Gardena's Consolidated Plan, please contact Gail Doi at (310)217-9508
Return to California's Consolidated Plans.