The City of South Gate is a General Law City under a Council-Manager form of government in the State of California and is located southeast of the City of Los Angeles in the heart of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The City encompasses approximately 7.41 square miles. The City is conveniently linked to all of Southern California by direct access to the Long Beach Freeway (Interstate Route 710) via the City's main east-west artery Firestone Boulevard.
The City of South Gate has prepared its Consolidated Plan as part of the requirements for participation in two federal grant programs: the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) grant. The purpose of the Consolidated Plan is to bring together the planning, application, reporting, and citizen participation components of these two formula grant programs and provide a more comprehensive approach to address the needs of the City of South Gate.
In developing the Consolidated Plan, the City of South Gate undertook a
pro-active Citizen Participation Process. City staff went out into the
community to solicit input from local residents, businesses, churches, social
service agencies and a variety of community organizations regarding the needs of
the community. The City held a total of nine (9) meeting throughout the
community. Two of these included formal public hearings before the South Gate
City Council. In addition to holding public outreach meetings, the City
developed a Community Needs Assessment Survey which was distributed through
local churches, the community outreach meetings, and through the mail to all
residents receiving Section 8 certificates and vouchers. The City also
consulted with the Los Angeles County Department of Health, the South Gate
Housing Authority, and notified other adjacent units of local government of its
non-housing community development needs. Meetings were held with neighboring
local government jurisdictions to discuss common community needs and available
The population of the City of South Gate is estimated to be 89,500 making South Gate the sixteenth largest city in Los Angeles County. The population has increased more than eighteen percent (18%) over the last ten years, since 1985. The median age in the City of South Gate is 25.7 and the median annual household income is $27,279. The race and ethnicity of the population in the City is primarily of Hispanic origins. 83% of the population is considered to be Hispanic, 13% White, with the remaining 4% consisting of American Indian, Asian, Black, and others.
There are a total of 22,946 housing units in South Gate. The median housing value is $162,000. The median gross monthly rental rate is $549. 47.4% of the housing units are owner occupied and 50.3% are renter occupied.
The private sector employs 30,051 South Gate residents while the public sector employs 2,842 residents. South Gate's unemployment rate is 11.6%, compared to 7.9% for the Los Angeles County as a whole.
Fire protection for the City of South gate is provided by the Los Angeles
County Fire Department which operates two (2) station within the city limits.
Police protection is provided by the City of South Gate Police Department.
There is a central Police Headquarters facility, a Police Substation in the
Hollydale area, as well as a Police Public Information Center located within the
City. Municipal water services are provided by 135 miles of water mains. In
addition, there are 125.8 miles of sanitary sewer system.
Past and current assessments of housing and community development needs in the City of South Gate have determined that the City faces significant problems as the numbers of low income persons residing in the City is increasing. The housing stock is aging resulting in physical inadequacies; overpayment of housing exists as many residents pay a high portion of their income for housing, illegal conversions of garages exists constituting overcrowded conditions, and first-time home ownership is increasingly difficult. These conditions are coupled with the fact that Southern California has been experiencing a recession that has left portions of the population with diminished wages, unemployment and in some cases, homelessness.
Through HUD and local data sources, consultation with various entities and input obtained from the Citizen Participation process, the City determined its housing and non-housing community development needs include the following: more units of affordable housing, more units of affordable housing for seniors, rehabilitation of single and multi-family residential units, assistance for first-time home buyers, supportive services for AIDS/HIV persons, reduction of units that are overcrowded, graffiti abatement, medical services for low income persons, economic development assistance, sewer improvements, educational programs for low income persons.
The most significant housing issues in the community are over payment (cost burden), overcrowding, and physical inadequacies (physical condition).
The 1990 Census data indicated a total of 22,946 housing units in South Gate. This included 11,543 (50.3%) renter-occupied units, 10,885 (47.4%) owner-occupied units and 518 (2.3%) vacant units. Of the vacant units, 286 are for rent, setting the rental vacancy rate at 2.3% and 30 units are for sale, producing an owner vacancy rate of 0.3%. An additional 189 units are considered "other" vacant units, 7 units are for seasonal vacancies and 6 units are vacant and boarded up. These vacancy rates, as well as the data on overcrowding, indicate that there is a shortage of housing units relative to demand, especially for units of an adequate size and affordable price.
During the decade of the 1980s, housing cost in South Gate increased substantially. In 1980, the median single family unit value was $65,000. In 1990, Census information shows this unit was valued at $161,900, an increase of 249% in just 10 years (not adjusted for inflation). Available data also reveals that increases in income did not keep pace with the rise in rents and housing prices.
During 1993 and 1994, interest rates reached their lowest levels in twenty- two years, thus making home ownership more affordable. The affordability index for Los Angeles County, which measures the percent of the population that is able to purchase a median priced home, reached 35% in June 1993. The median resale home price in Los Angeles County was $190,000 in June 1993, a decrease of $10,000 (5.0%) since June 1992. However, despite favorable interest rates and lower prices, home sales have remained somewhat stagnant. Many households are postponing purchasing a new or move-up home due to economic uncertainty including high unemployment rates and proposed tax increases.
Rental rates have also increased at about the same rate as housing prices. For South Gate in 1970, the median rental rate was $122 per month. By 1980, the average rental was $200 per month. By 1990, the monthly median rent was $508, an increase of 254% from 1980. Comparing median rent data, the gap between the median rent has declined between Los Angeles County and South Gate by 10 percent. In 1980, the County median rent was 22 percent greater than the City of South Gate's median rent. In 1990, Census information shows a 12 percent gap. The 1990 median rent of $508 would require a minimum annual income of $20,288 in order to avoid overpayment (spending more than 30% of gross income on housing costs).
According to the 1990 Census, almost sixty percent of the City's households are cost-burdened, paying more than thirty percent of their income on housing. Cost burden is most severe among extremely low income renter households, with 88.4% of those earning 0-30% of median family income paying more than 30% on housing and 71.8% within this group paying more than 50%.
Owner households within this income group also face cost burden of more than 30% in 48.8% of those households. This segment of the population, those earning less than 30% of median and paying more than 30% of income on housing, also have a high risk of becoming homeless should a disruption in income occur.
Cost burden is also a problem among low income renter households earning between 30 and 50% of median income. Almost seventy-six percent of these households are paying more than 30% of their incomes on housing.
Overcrowding is another significant issue identified in the City of South Gate. Forty-two percent of the City's households are overcrowded. The City's average household size increased from 2.9 persons to 3.8 persons from 1980 to 1990. However, most of the housing units in the City are two bedroom houses built in the 1940's and 1950's. As these numbers illustrate, many housing units in the City are not large enough to accommodate the City's households and are thus overcrowded.
The actual number of homeless persons within the City of South Gate differs greatly depending on the data reviewed. Based on figures provided by the U.S. Census S-Night Enumeration, there were a total of 21 persons in emergency shelters from the City of South Gate. The City of South Gate Police Department monitored the number of homeless persons within the City and determined that there were a total of 100 homeless persons. 70 of these persons were considered to be homeless individuals not from families. The City currently does not have the fiscal or personnel resources required to gather a complete and accurate picture of the City's homeless population and their needs.
While there are no homeless shelters or transitional housing facilities currently based in the City of South Gate, the City has in fact identified the need for such services. The City has allocated Community Development Block Grant funds during the 1994-95 fiscal year to begin to address these needs. Services will be provided at the closest existing facility located in the City of Huntington Park.
The City's Housing Authority does not currently own any public housing units. It does however, administer 654 Section 8 tenant-based certificated and vouchers.
The South Gate Housing Authority assisted 931 households during the previous fiscal year. Households assisted were elderly (253), small family (571) and large family (107). Unfortunately, there are 1,624 additional families on the waiting list for Section 8 assistance. It is anticipated that most of these families will have to wait approximately two years for assistance. All households on the waiting list meet federal preferences for admission to rental assistance programs with the City.
In the past two years, 77 rental certificates and 35 vouchers were issued as a result of turnover or due to the receipt of an incremental number of Section 8 certificates from HUD. No assisted units are expected to be lost for any reason, including losses through prepayment or voluntary termination of a federally assisted mortgage.
The City of South Gate has two projects that were developed using government assistance, Pennsylvania Square and Pine Place. Pennsylvania Square was constructed in 1979 using a Federal 221(D)(4) 40 year mortgage. This project contains 75 one-bedroom apartments for elderly persons. All of the units are also currently subject to Section 8 contracts.
Pine Place is a 22 unit senior citizen housing project built in 1985. This project utilized Redevelopment funds from the City of South Gate and is committed to maintaining low income units through a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with the City Redevelopment Agency. Pine Place also includes 15 Section 8 certificates.
Based on 1990 Census data, the City has identified the following the following numbers of persons with special needs other than homeless. There are a total of 3,990 elderly persons which includes 1,701 frail elderly. There are 376 persons identified as having severe mental illness. Census data has also identified 7,950 persons as physically disabled. There currently is no reliable data which indicates persons with developmental disabilities, alcohol/other drug addiction, or AIDS and related diseases.
The availability and affordability of housing in South Gate is dependent upon a variety of factors that either encourage or constrain housing development. These factors range from the built-out condition of the City to city ordinances and State and Federal mandates (including building codes) to market mechanisms. Sometimes these factors, taken in combination, result in housing that is not affordable to the consumer (especially the lower income consumer) or uneconomical for developers to produce. In South Gate, as in cities throughout Southern California, these constraints make it difficult to produce a full range of housing types and prices.
There are various governmental regulations and market factors that constrain the production of housing, particularly housing affordable to low and moderate income households.
Many of the factors which tend to restrict housing supply cannot be controlled by local government, especially those that relate to regional, national and international economy. Various factors not under the control of local government influence the cost, supply and distribution of housing. These factors include land costs, construction costs, financing costs, availability of land and land use controls.
There are also a variety of ways local government may also constrain the availability of affordable housing in the community. The needs for affordable housing must be balanced with the City's goals of providing sufficient open space and recreational facilities, the desire to protect unique environmental feature and historic resources, and the desire to ensure the health and safety of the City's residents by providing current levels of community services and infrastructure.
The City has begun to identify the impediments to fair housing opportunities within the City of South Gate. Using data supplied by the Fair Housing Foundation of Long Beach, the City is currently reviewing practices in the real estate community as they relate to the purchase sale, and rental of property, indications of violations in fair housing practices, segregated housing conditions, job opportunities in relation to areas of residential concentration, and demographic patterns in the community to identify impediments to fair housing. The City will then incorporate a plan to address some of these impediments into the consolidated Plan update.
HUD regulations state that the Consolidated Plan must estimate the number of housing units within the jurisdiction that are occupied by lower income families that contain lead-based paint hazards. The City consulted with the County of Los Angeles Department of Health by requesting that the County provide Health Department data on the addresses of housing units that are occupied by lower income families which contain lead-based paint hazards. The County responded to this request by stating in writing that the County could not release the addresses of children who were lead-based paint poisoned in the City of South Gate. The City subsequently sent the County a list of census tracts in the City with the request that the County identify the geographic location by census tract of children that were identified as lead poisoned. The County provided the City with a list identified by census tract.
Using information outlined in the 1990 CHAS Databook provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City has estimated the number of housing units occupied by both renters and owners which may have lead-based paint hazards. Based on this information, it is estimated that 6,162 renter households may contain lead-based paint and 457 owner occupied housing units may contain lead-based paint.
The City will take affirmative steps, as it is able to, in ensuring that the provisions of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992 (Title X) which went into effect October 1, 1995, are carried out.
Non-housing Community Development needs in the City of South Gate are primarily in two areas, infrastructure needs and economic development.
The primary infrastructure needs include street rehabilitation, traffic control and signage, wheelchair ramps, water system rehabilitation, sanitary sewer system rehabilitation and replacement, storm drain improvements, and congestion relief at the I-710/Firestone Boulevard Interchange. The City has begun to identify and address some of these needs through the use of Community Development Block Grant funds, UDAG funds, and other local, state, and federal funding programs. However, these needs have developed over a long period of time and will take many years to address.
The City developed a city-wide pavement management program and is well under way with maintenance or rehabilitation of many streets and roadways throughout the City. By effectively preserving the City streets with seals and overlays the City can minimize the major expense of complete reconstruction.
The City has completed extensive improvements in traffic control and management along its two busies east/west corridors Firestone Boulevard and Tweedy Boulevard. The remaining improvements have been incorporated in a five year Capitol Improvement Plan.
The City's water system has also been identified as part of the City's infrastructure which has needed improvement. The total cost for completing the necessary improvements city-wide exceeds $33 million dollars. The City has begun to address needs in this area by replacing critical water mains which lack the capacity to provide adequate flow for fire protection. In 1994 the City completed construction of a four million gallon water reservoir, pump station, and treatment facility. This facility will help to address some of the water needs of the community.
The most urgent infrastructure community development need is to rehabilitate the failing sanitary sewer system. Estimated at a total cost of $9 million , the City is addressing this need in phases. Breaks and collapses in the sewer system jeopardize the health and safety of the community and are extremely costly to repair. The City is planning to reline the majority of the sewer system as a method to improve the system capacity and prevent further collapses in the system.
There have been long-term structural changes in California's economy that have affected South Gate and created an urgent need for economic development. The central underlying theme relates to the need to create and retain employment opportunities for South Gate's citizens, given the rapidly changing work and national marketplace.
The City of South Gate has a variety of employers in the manufacturing
sector. From the late 1970's through the 1980's, the City experienced the
closing of three major employers in the city ; Firestone Tire and Rubber,
Weiser Lock and General Motors, which resulted in the loss of approximately
10,000 jobs. These companies had provided 40% of the employment in the City and
their closures had a major impact on the City. Currently, the two largest
employers are DSL Trucking and Adohr Farms. As the area emerges from the
recession, the City anticipates that existing employers will increase
employment. In addition, the City expects to see additional redevelopment of
the old General Motors site, which has approximately 85 acres available for
In 1984, the City of South Gate held a public forum to determine the citizen's views on the future of the community. Out of this, it was envisioned by the residents that new businesses should be encouraged to come to South Gate so that new job opportunities would be created. To accomplish this goal, a business retention and attraction strategy was created and implemented.
Phase I of the strategy involved physical improvements and the creation of new businesses. Since South Gate has a redevelopment project area created in 1974, and an Enterprise Zone awarded in the early 1990's, physical improvements for retail shopping areas were planned and implemented as well as financial incentives for hiring low income persons. The old retail strip along Tweedy Boulevard was revitalized along with the commercial area in Hollydale. Also a new semi-regional Shopping Center called the Towne Center was built. All of these improvements were funded with Redevelopment Tax Increment dollars. Additional projects are planned for the future such as the California Plaza and Phase II of the Town Center.
With CDBG Funds, the City has in the past and will continue to maintain and make improvements to public facilities such as the South Gate Park, a Community Center and other recreational facilities for the benefit of the low and moderate residents, which are a majority in this community. The City has also used CDBG to remove architectural barriers to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including curb cuts throughout the city to assist persons in wheelchairs. To aid in meeting other transportation needs, the City has also used Prop A funds to provide a Dial-A-Ride bus for elderly and other low income persons.
Phase II of the strategy involved the marketing of South Gate as a good place for businesses. To accomplish the attraction part of the strategy, a number of marketing tools were created. They include advertising in business magazines such as the L.A. Business Journal, Outlook California and Industrial Marketing Digest. Additionally, two videos were planned. One is a Zoning Video entitled "Planning for a Better South Gate" and the other is a general Marketing Video about the City and its advantages. Other tools include a Marketing Brochure designed for business attraction and a Welcome packet which is distributed to new arrivals in South Gate.
The CDBG program assists special Economic Development by funding the South Gate Business Assistance Program which provides technical assistance to businesses in the community. The City makes an effort to involve businesses in the future of the community and assist them. Staff have acted as an intermediary with the State Trade and Commerce Agency on behalf of a South Gate business.
The City also issued an Industrial Survey to determine what types of assistance the businesses needed. Furthermore, the Mayor holds a State of the City forum which is another opportunity for information and ideas to be exchanged.
In 1994, a news article in California Strategies Magazine stated that in a report from Cognetics, a Massachusetts economic research firm from Cambridge University, South Gate is ranked as the 3rd best city among 85 in California for entrepreneurs and 30th in the nation.
The vision for South Gate is not just an economic one, we also want to provide a good quality of life for our residents. This includes public services such as graffiti abatement, home safety program, providing educational opportunities, juvenile assistance opportunities, medical services and emergency management services in the case of disasters such as floods, earthquake or civil disturbances. During the last 4 years, this program has been kept quite active due to the weather, seismic activity and civil disturbances in nearby Los Angeles.
Also included in the vision for the community are cultural activities such as the Azalea Festival and televised Children's Christmas Parade and more down to earth activities such as the weekly Farmer's Market.
Additionally, as described elsewhere in the Strategic Plan, housing concerns, such as rehabilitation and first-time home buying using CDBG and HOME dollars, are also a top priority in South Gate. We are looking forward to the next five years and hope to accomplish even more in South Gate, where opportunity awaits you!
Based on the housing needs identified above, the City has developed the following four (4) housing priorities:
In 1990, the City of South Gate had 2,535 families living below the poverty line or 12% of all families in the City. Some of these families are currently assisted by County General Relief, AFDC or through emergency assistance programs. There are a few structured programs, usually administered at the county level, specifically targeting households in poverty and assisting those households in improving their long-term financial and social positions, eventually bringing them out of poverty. Two programs which may help to address this need are the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) and the Family Self-Sufficiency Program.
The Federal government has two major programs that are available for use in South Gate. These programs may be used for acquisition, rehabilitation, home buyer assistance, rental assistance, new construction, homeless assistance and homeless prevention, and non-housing activities. The programs available under each of these categories are discussed below.
To address the needs identified in the Plan, the City of South Gate also expects to utilize State Redevelopment Set-Aside funds, and Private lending funds for the First- time home buyer (FTHB) programs.
The federal HOME funds will leverage the primary financing for first mortgages provided by private lenders. Under the low income FTHB program, the HOME funds will provide the gap financing needed to make the purchase feasible.
Under the moderate income FTHB program, redevelopment set-aside funds will provide the same assistance to moderate income households.
Additionally, redevelopment set-aside monies will be used to fund the Neighborhood Beautification Program, Land Write-downs, and In-fill housing as long as tax increment dollars are available.
The CDBG funds will assist in leveraging private financing for rehabilitation of owner occupied residences under the Home Improvement Program.
The HOME Program is one of the largest sources of federal funds available to the City. However, there are many regulatory strings attached to proper use of these funds which may impede swift project progress in many instances. For example, for acquisition, new construction and rehabilitation activities a 25% non-federal match is required. However, the City of South Gate has been granted a full (100%) match reduction due to the high average percentage of poverty level families and elderly(15.3%) and the low per capita income of $8,368. Therefore, the City of South Gate has a 100% match reduction which is valid through October 1, 1996. South Gate is 1 of 6 cities in the Los Angeles region which qualifies for this 100% match reduction.
There is not currently any providers of public housing or any public housing
units in South Gate. The City continues to work with owners of assisted
housing that is "at risk" to preserve those housing units. The City
will continue to work with the local housing authority, government health,
mental health and social service agencies to identify needs in the City and
coordinate resources to help meet the community's needs.
The following is a brief description of the projects to be undertaken during the 1994-95 fiscal year.
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 depicts Detail Map 1 which shows points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point.
MAP 7 depicts Detail Map 2 which shows points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point.
MAP 8 depicts Detail Map 3 which shows points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point.
MAP 9 depicts Detail Map 4 which shows points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point.
TABLE (without associated map) provides information about the project(s).
Assistant to the City Manager
PH; (213) 563-9508