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

Consolidated Plan Contact


In the past 10 years, the city of Long Beach, California, has had to cope with an economic recession that changed the face of its population. Although the city's coastal location has made it a prime location for successful shipping and tourism industries, Long Beach suffered the loss of three major employers. As a result, its traditional population of affluent white people moved from the area and were replaced by poorer minorities. The city must adapt its housing and community development needs to suit these new residents, which include more young families and people with lower incomes.

Action Plan

The Consolidated Plan for Long Beach has a budget of $15.6 million, including $11.9 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds and $3.7 million in Home Investment Partnership (HOME) program funds.

Citizen Participation

In 1994 Long Beach amended its Citizen Participation Plan to ensure maximum citizen participation in the Consolidated Plan. The city's Community Development Department, as the lead agency, solicited input from various agencies, profit and nonprofit organizations, and individual citizens. The Community Development Department also consulted 10 adjacent cities and 2 counties to access the most comprehensive information pertinent to Long Beach.

The city's Human and Social Services Bureau encouraged the participation of public and private social service agencies, homeless service agencies, and citizens concerned with these services. Additionally, citizen members of the city's Board of Health and Human Services (BHHS) and the Homeless Services Advisory Committee (HSAC) collaborated with 300 agencies and residents. Citizen input was achieved through joint public meetings, one public hearing, and media advertisements.


Incorporated in 1897 as a seaside resort, Long Beach is located along the Pacific Coast in southwestern Los Angeles County. Encompassing 50 square miles, it is the fifth largest city in California and has a current population of 429,433.

Although whites had constituted about 68 percent of Long Beach's population in 1980, the ethnic and racial composition of the city changed during the previous decade. In 1990 minority groups accounted for slightly more than 50 percent of the population, with Hispanics accounting for almost 24 percent. Overall, Hispanics comprised 24,151 households; African Americans comprised 19,519 households; and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders comprised 13,297 households. Although most minorities were located in the western, central, and downtown areas of the city, Hispanics and African Americans were also concentrated in North Long Beach.

Between 1980 and 1990, the number of people living below the poverty line increased. The percentages of minority groups in the extremely low- to low-income range are as follows:



Although the city's coastal location has made it a prime location for successful shipping and tourism industries, Long Beach suffered during the national recession. In 1994 its unemployment rate was 8.7 percent, which was considerably higher than the national average of 6.7 percent. This high unemployment rate resulted from job cutbacks at several major employers, most notably the McDonnell Douglas Corporation and the Long Beach Naval Station and Shipyard.

Housing Needs

The Consolidated Plan identifies the following housing needs:

Housing Market Conditions

In the early-1990s the Long Beach housing market experienced a downturn, relative to the significant growth of home values in the 1980s. By 1994 housing units had lost 10-20 percent of their peak 1990 values. In 1990 the average cost of a home was $222,900 (versus $22,200 in 1970), while the median monthly rent was $605 (versus $114 in 1970).

Of the city's 170,388 housing units, most were single-family detached units and multifamily units. Of the year-round housing units, 59 percent were renter-occupied, and 41 percent were owner-occupied.

Aging and physical deterioration of existing housing units have been significant problems in Long Beach. According to a 1990 survey, the median year of construction for the city's housing stock was 1955, implying that 50 percent of all housing units were at least 40 years old. Although Long Beach's substandard units comprise only 4 percent of the total housing stock, estimates suggest that rehabilitating or replacing these units will take more than 10 years, even at the current rate of 500 units per year.

Affordable Housing Needs

In 1990 the Los Angeles-Long Beach area median family income (MFI) was $39,034. Despite this MFI, 12,818 Long Beach families had incomes below the poverty level, and the majority of those families were minorities. The census also reported that 63 percent of Hispanics, 62 percent of Native-Americans, 59 percent of African Americans, and 58 percent of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders were low- or moderate-income.

In 1990 nearly one quarter of all renter households in Long Beach were extremely low-income. Although a household earning 0-30 percent of MFI could afford a maximum rent of $293 without being cost burdened, the actual median rent was $605. Both cost burden and overcrowding were two major problems for this group and for low- and moderate-income households.

Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics had the largest average household sizes, 4.02 and 3.96 members, respectively. Comparatively, Native-Americans had an average household size of 2.83, while African Americans had an average household size of 2.76, and whites had an average household size of 2.20.

Very few low-income households owned their homes. Only 8 percent of extremely low-income, 7 percent of low-income, and 11 percent of moderate-income households were able to purchase their housing units. Among owner-occupants, the elderly had the least housing problems.

Homeless Needs

In 1990 the U.S. Census Bureau conducted a one-night census to determine the extent of homelessness in Long Beach. The census counted 638 homeless individuals. Of this figure, 26 percent were children under the age of 18; 45 percent were persons with substance abuse problems; and 25 percent were persons with severe mental illness.

Long Beach conducted its own survey in 1993, soliciting help from 16 agencies and voluntary groups that serve the local homeless population. Results indicated that 46 percent of Long Beach's homeless were African American, 40 percent were white, and 9 percent were Hispanic. Approximately 66 percent were men, and 29 percent were veterans. The survey concluded that 223 year-round beds, 233 cold-weather emergency shelter beds, 436 transitional shelter beds, and 4 cribs could not sufficiently meet the homeless population's needs.

Homeless individuals receive shelter, food, clothing, and social service assistance at the following Long Beach facilities: Catholic Charities, Family Shelter for the Homeless, Mental Health Association, Long Beach Rescue Mission, Travelers Aid Society, New Life Center, Legal Aid Foundation, Christian Outreach Appeal, Lutheran Social Services, Alpha Project, the Salvation Army, New Image Emergency Shelter, and Shelter for the Homeless.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

According to the Long Beach Housing Authority, the city does not own or operate any public housing units. However, the Los Angeles County Housing Authority operates the Carmelitos Public Housing Project, which is located in an unincorporated area within Long Beach's boundaries. This community has 713 units, including 558 family and 155 senior units.

The Long Beach Housing Authority administers 3,941 Section 8 certificates, 1,299 Section 8 vouchers, 108 Section 8 New Construction, 9 Moderate Rehabilitation, and 10 Portability Vouchers. Although 6,839 households appear on the waiting list for Section 8 units, the waiting lists for families and the elderly have been closed.

The city also has more than 3,700 housing units, developed with the assistance of public subsidies. These units provide an important source of housing opportunities for extremely low- and low-income households. During the next 5 years, approximately 1,400 of these units may be removed from the affordable housing pool because of retirement or prepayment of publicly subsidized loans.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Long Beach's Consolidated Plan identifies the following barriers to affordable housing:

Fair Housing

In 1991 Long Beach completed a Fair Housing Review, which defined present and future citywide fair housing needs and recommended activities to remedy those problems. During the 1995-2000 program period, the community will offer discrimination counseling to 1,250 persons and landlord-tenant counseling to 17,500 persons. It has budgeted $418,750 for each of these activities.

Lead-Based Paint

In 1990, an estimated 45,513 extremely low- and low-income housing units were contaminated with lead-based paint. The city's Department of Health and Human Services reported that in 1993, 32 children had elevated blood-lead levels.

Using a State of California Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Grant, the Department of Health and Human Services provides case management and environmental/residential site follow-up for all children who are under the age of 6 and who have elevated blood-lead levels.

Additional activity is possible using a Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Control Grant, which provides blood testing and case management for 1,100 high risk, low-income housing units. A recent ordinance regarding lead hazard control allows the community Lead Hazard Control Program to enforce control and abatement actions on specific violating properties.

Other Issues

Among those persons with special needs, approximately 7,500 people over the age of 65 and 9,070 physically disabled individuals need supportive housing. Additionally, the Health and Human Services Department reports that in 1994, 2,431 persons living in Long Beach had AIDS, while an estimated 5,000-8,000 persons were HIV-positive.

Community Development Needs

The Consolidated Plan identifies the following community development needs:


Vision for Change

The city of Long Beach strives to provide adequate housing and community development activities that positively impact the quality of life for its changing population.

Housing Priorities

The Consolidated Plan identifies the following housing priorities:

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

The Consolidated Plan identifies the following community development priorities:

Antipoverty Strategy

The Consolidated Plan outlines the following goals in its antipoverty strategy:

Housing and Community Development Resources

Along with many State and local agencies, such as California State University at Long Beach, the Consolidated Plan uses resources from both profit and nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations include: The Long Beach Housing Development Company, American Gold Star Manor, Baptist Gardens Corporation, Beach-Wood Housing Corporation, Jewish Community Housing Foundation, Our Savior's Lutheran Development Corporation, New Hope Baptist Church, South Hills Baptist Church, Volunteers of America, St. Mary Housing Corporation, Brethren Manor, Inc., and NeighborWorks Reinvestment Corporation.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The Long Beach Community Development Department, as the lead agency responsible for overseeing the development of the plan, established a Consolidated Plan Team comprised of three city agencies:

In order to provide low- and moderate-income residents with all available resources, Long Beach collaborates with public and other assisted housing providers as well as private and governmental health, mental health, and social service agencies.


Description of Key Projects

Long Beach's Consolidated Plan identifies the following key projects:


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, 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 project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Long Beach's Consolidated Plan, please contact Diane McNeel, Manager, Housing Services Bureau, at 310-570-6926.
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