Pico Rivera's initial growth was fueled by its proximity to Los Angeles, California. Now, because of Los Angeles, Pico Rivera is part of a fully developed region that has little room for expansion.
Like the State, this city has experienced an economic recession which resulted in part from the relocation of its major employer. Urban issues -- such as crime, gang activity, and an aging population -- challenge Pico Rivera to maintain a high quality of life for its mostly Hispanic residents.
The Consolidated Plan for Pico Rivera has an overall budget of $3.1 million, including $1.4 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds, $1.8 million in Section 108 loan funds, and $25,000 in program income.
The Consolidated Plan resulted from collaboration between the city, its community organizations, and its residents. Two public hearings were held, with both being advertised in the local media. Personal invitations were sent to every family that participated in or appeared on the waiting list for the Pico Rivera Section 8 Program and to every family that had participated in the Housing Rehabilitation Program during the past 2 years. Flyers written in both English and Spanish were distributed throughout neighborhoods, and citizen comments were incorporated into the Consolidated Plan.
Incorporated in 1958, Pico Rivera is a small city located near the Los Angeles Basin in California. Because it is located near a major metropolitan area, the city grew to 16,002 households by 1990. Since 1988 the city has experienced slow growth in terms of both population and industry. Between 1989 and 1994, the population increased by only 370 persons, rising to a total of 59,177.
Because its population is 83 percent Hispanic and 12 percent African American, Pico Rivera enjoys a rich ethnic base. In addition to general concerns about community and economic development, cultural issues, such as improving communication between the local government and its Spanish-speaking citizens, are important.
Although Pico Rivera has been in an economic recession for years, the recent relocation of the Northrop Corporation, its major employer, has contributed to the city's continued financial decline. Because of the economy and slow population growth, there have been few housing starts.
In 1988 a Regional Housing Needs Assessment Study, conducted by the Southern California Council of Governments (SCAG), found that although 20 units in the city were demolished, 92 units were construct, resulting in a net gain of 72 units. The survey determined that during the next 5 years, the city will need an additional 700 housing units. Because most of the vacant land has been developed, this new construction will consist mostly of in-fill units.
The Consolidated Plan identifies overcrowding as one of Pico Rivera's persistent housing problems. Of all renter households, 35 percent are overcrowded, especially large families. Among homeowners, non-elderly households show the greatest incidence of overcrowding. The city needs more housing to alleviate this problem, which is compounded by a low vacancy rate.
Pico Rivera also needs to provide greater rental subsidy. Although the city's Housing Assistance Agency assists 468 families through its Section 8 Rental Assistance Program, 1,191 families still need assistance.
Approximately 50 percent of the city's land area is used for residential dwellings. Of this land, 33 percent contains single-family homes; 2 percent contains apartments and condominiums/townhouses; and 1 percent contains mobile home parks. According to the 1990 census, 11,255 housing units are owner-occupied, and 4,777 are renter-occupied. Those figures include 466 mobile homes, which house 1,003 residents.
Although the city's vacancy rate was 1.9 percent in 1990, economic and market conditions have changed, resulting in a larger number of vacant units. Declining economic growth has also impacted the cost of housing. The price of a two-bedroom, one-bath house with a single-car garage has fallen from $157,000 in 1990 to $135,000 in 1994. Houses of this size account for 54 percent of all the city's housing structures.
Over half of the housing stock is more than 30 years old and requires conscientious maintenance to ensure maximum longevity. According to the 1994 Housing Element of Pico Rivera's General Plan, approximately 2,899 units are substandard, with 1,807 being owner-occupied and 1,092 being renter-occupied. Of this number, 452 of the owned units and 273 of the rental units are severely dilapidated and should be replaced.
Of all owner households in Pico Rivera, 1,136 are extremely low-income (0-30 percent of median family income [MFI]). Of these, nearly half are elderly. Although few elderly households report cost burdens and housing problems, approximately 53 percent of other extremely low-income homeowners experience cost burdens greater than 50 percent of their gross monthly income, and 69 percent report that they have housing problems.
Among renter households, 1,111 are extremely low-income. Of this figure, 40 percent are small households, followed by elderly households, one- and two-member families, and large families.
Most extremely low-income households are Hispanic, while the percentages of African-American and Asian American/Pacific Islander households in this category are lower than average.
Among very low-income (31-50 percent of MFI) households, 2,096 are owners, with 28 percent being elderly. Half of these households experience cost burdens greater than 50 percent of their gross monthly income, and 69 percent report that they have housing problems. Among the 1,081 renter households, 44 percent are small families, and 30 percent are large families.
African-American households comprise the highest percentage of families in the very low-income category, followed by Hispanics.
The 1990 census counted 23 homeless families, 4 homeless youths, and 19 homeless adults in Pico Rivera on any given night. However, the 1993 Housing Element of Pico Rivera's General Plan estimated that between 600 and 800 homeless persons are assisted by five shelters (Women and Children's Crisis Center, Salvation Army, Rio Hondo Temporary Home, Cold Weather Program, and Los Angeles Women's Mission). The Housing Element also noted that the homeless persons with the greatest needs are families with children, single men, single women, and elderly persons.
The city established the Rio Hondo Area Homeless Coalition to handle problems associated with homelessness, to provide supportive housing and health care, and to mitigate the effects of homelessness on families and individuals.
Although Pico Rivera does not contain public housing, its Housing Assistance Agency administers a tenant-based Section 8 program that has 40 vouchers and 468 certificates. Currently, the agency is not accepting applications for Section 8 rental assistance because of the program's long waiting list.
The rental housing needs of the elderly and handicapped are not as acute as the needs of other households. Of the Housing Assistance Agency's 413 certificates and vouchers, 103 (25 percent) are used by elderly and handicapped persons, who comprise 15 percent of the overall population. Three senior citizen housing developments (Verner Villa, Rivera Gardens Apartments, and Jan Lynn Apartments) may be converted to market rate rental communities. A 64-apartment complex (Beverly Villas Apartments) carries a 20-year deed restriction that limits rental rates to an affordable level. All of these complexes have very low vacancy rates and long waiting lists.
Pico Rivera's Consolidated Plan identifies the following barriers to affordable housing:
Pico Rivera contracts fair housing and landlord-tenant counseling to the San Gabriel Valley Fair Housing Council.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Child and Adolescent Health Program, only one case of lead-based paint poisoning was documented in the city during 1994. Only 2 percent of the city's housing stock was built before 1940. Of those units estimated to contain lead-based paint, 2,236 are renter-occupied units, and 473 are owner-occupied units.
Pico Rivera offers separate education and abatement programs through the city's Home Rehabilitation Program and the Housing Assistance Agency's Section 8 Program. These programs provide very low-income residents with assistance by offering information and by funding the eradication of lead-based paint hazards. An annual Housing Quality Standards inspection is conducted to locate and correct any lead-based paint problem.
Although the city has not conducted any studies on domestic violence, the Legal Aid Society of Orange County's Domestic Violence Prevention Program reported that between 1993 and 1994, 63 Pico Rivera residents received assistance to prepare legal restraining orders.
Three private facilities (El Rancho Vista Convalescent Home, Rivera Nursing Home, and Saint Teresa's Convalescent Home) offer a total capacity of 339 beds for people who need nursing care.
Of the city's 59,172 residents, 3,402 are disabled. Pico Rivera has one care facility (Colina Gardens) with 99 beds for the mentally and physically handicapped. The city operates the R.U.O.K. computer system to help maintain the independence of senior citizens and handicapped persons. This system calls registered participants on a daily basis to check on their well-being. If the participant does not answer, a contact relative or friend is advised to check on the individual.
The Consolidated Plan identifies the following community development needs:
Pico Rivera's Consolidated Plan resulted from collaboration between various city departments, the Pico Rivera Redevelopment Agency, the Pico Rivera Housing Assistance Agency, the Southern California Council of Governments, Los Angeles County Social Services, and the State of California.
Pico Rivera seeks to improve the quality of life for its residents, to maintain its neighborhoods and communities, and to redevelop the site previously occupied by the Northrop Corporation.
The Consolidated Plan identifies the following housing priorities:
The Consolidated Plan identifies the following community development priorities:
Through its Housing Assistance Agency, Pico Rivera operates a Section 8 Rental Assistance Program and a Family Self-Sufficiency Program, both of which help to provide affordable housing and assistance to extremely low- and very low-income residents. The Housing Assistance Agency has contracted the Family Empowerment Program to operate the Family Self-Sufficiency Program that will serve 55 families during the next 5 years.
The city is striving to replace the jobs that were lost during the relocation of the Northrop Corporation. Persons in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program receive training which will enable them to capitalize on the replacement jobs that the city hopes to create through the redevelopment of the Northrop site.
Both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State of California Department of Housing and Community Development will offer program funding as well as technical assistance. Pico Rivera may join the Los Angeles County pool of Mortgage Credit Certificates, which can fund a first-time homebuyer program for Fiscal Year 1995-96. The city will also access Federal sources for planning and technical assistance to redevelop the Northrop site.
During its first year of activities, the city expects to match $80,000 in CDBG funds with funds from participants in the Home Rehabilitation Program. The city's Redevelopment Agency expects to spend $300,000 in housing set-aside funds to assist homeowners with homes that cannot be rehabilitated.
For community development projects, the city expects to supplement CDBG funds with State grants, city General Fund moneys, and a local bond issue.
The Housing Division of the city's Financial Management Department closely collaborates with various departments and agencies, including: the Pico Rivera Housing Assistance Agency, the Pico Rivera Redevelopment Agency, the Pico Rivera Housing Agency, the Southern California Council of Governments, Los Angeles County Social Services, and the State of California.
Various city departments and other local government entities will be used to coordinate a task force approach to solving housing problems. The city also separated enforcement issues (now handled by the Community Development Department) from other housing issues, creating an atmosphere of trust between the Housing Division and residents who need housing assistance.
To implement the plan, the Housing Division will coordinate with non-profit organizations, such as the San Gabriel Valley Fair Housing Council and the Rio Hondo Temporary Home, and private industry, such as the Security Pacific National Bank.
Pico Rivera's Consolidated Plan identifies the following key projects, which will be implemented citywide:
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 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) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).