Economic Development & Housing Program

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Equal Opportunity Housing logoThe  Economic Development & Housing Division is charged with the implementation of City policy with respect to development, redevelopment, economic development, the disbursement of federal funds for social services and housing programs within the City. The division monitors tax earnings, analyzes and plans for the redevelopment of sites, markets sites for development and provides liaison services to developers and community organizations with the goal of improving Whittier. The division also continues to monitor development agreements called Disposition and Development Agreements (DDA's) and Owner Participation Agreements previously entered into by the now dissolved Whittier Redevelopment Agency.

The Economic Development & Housing Division is also responsible for the administration of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME funds, the Residential Rehabilitation Loan/Grant Programs, the Affordable Home Ownership Program (AHOP), and the Police Home Buyer Program.

The goal of the Housing Assistance program is to improve and increase the supply of affordable housing for low and moderate income families in the City of Whittier. The Housing Assistance Program is focused on low and moderate income households and was established to reflect a comprehensive approach to housing in Whittier. This program is used to fund a large variety of housing programs using remaining Whittier Housing Authority funds, as well as, Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds provided by the federal government.

In addition to assisting over 20 households per year in fixing up their homes, past accomplishments of the Housing Assistance Program include the completion of 33 AHOP condominium units at Guilford Court and The Gables at Whittier and the continued monitoring of nearly 300 affordable apartment units. 

Plans

The City is required to prepare the Consolidated Plan every five years in order to receive certain grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City receives Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Act (HOME) funds from HUD. The Consolidated Plan is a five-year strategic plan that identifies housing and community needs and strategies to address these needs. The Annual Action Plan is a component of the Consolidated Plan that will be updated annually over the five-year period.  Each Annual Action Plan lists the specific programs and activities that will be funded with CDBG and HOME resources during that fiscal year. As required by federal regulations, programs and activities will be geared toward benefiting low- and moderate-income persons, as defined by HUD, and to eliminate blighting conditions in eligible target neighborhoods. A 30-day public comment period for the Annual Action Plans will typically commence in April or May of each fiscal year. Comments on the draft Annual Action Plan may be submitted in writing to the Whittier Community Development Department, 13230 Penn Street, Whittier, CA 90602.

Para información en español, por favor llame al Departamento de Desarrollo de la Comunidad al (562) 567-9320.

Affordable Home Ownership Program (AHOP)

The Whittier Redevelopment Agency is proud to announce the Affordable Home Ownership Program (AHOP). The AHOP is essentially a silent second loan that allows moderate income households to purchase a designated home at an affodrable first mortgage amount that has been fixed by a predetermined formula set by State Law. Affordable units are designated in certain new housing development projects.

If you are interested in the AHOP be sure to contact staff at (562) 567-9320 and request to be placed on the affordable housing interest list.

Housing Rehabilitation Program

Whittier's Housing Rehabilitation program is charged with assisting in the maintenance and improvement and rehabilitation and/or preservation of low and moderate income housing. This is achieved by providing low interest loans, deferred loans, and grants to income eligible families. The program was designed to provide loans/grants that are intended to correct housing deficiencies for low to moderate income homeowners who would not be capable of receiving conventional home repair loans in the private market. The loans are also intended to help arrest neighborhood decline by providing financial incentives to improve housing in targeted areas that contain a high level of blighted properties.

The City's financing assistance to homeowners is to be used for improvements such as roofing, plumbing, electrical, windows, stucco, painting, flooring, and other repairs to eliminate code violations, incipient code violations and slum/blight conditions. The Housing Rehabilitation program is funded by Community Development Block Grant Funds (CDBG) and HOME Funds.

In addition to the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program, the City offers several grant programs. The scope of work covered under the grant programs is more limited and households must still qualify as low or moderate income.

Goals of the Housing Rehabilitation Program

  • To improve the quality of Whittier's low and moderate income housing stock through provision of non-interest bearing, low interest and/or deferred home rehabilitation loans and grants.
  • To eliminate visual and economic blight.
  • To encourage private investment in the community.
  • To ensure development of real property to its highest and best use.
  • To promote the preservation and rehabilitation of existing housing stock occupied by low and moderate income persons.
  • To provide safe, decent and sanitary housing for low and moderate income persons.

HOME Program

The HOME Program is designed by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist low and very low income families in securing affordable housing. The Participating Jurisdiction (City) is free to decide how to spend the funds within certain guidelines. This program is distinct from the CDBG program in that it can only be used for housing, not for economic development or social services. Pursuant to the 5-Year Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan, HOME funds are proposed to be spent on owner-occupied rehabilitation loans and new housing construction.

For more information on Housing Programs or for a copy of the current annual Action Plan, call (562) 567-9320.

Housing Rights Center

The Housing Rights Center provides telephone and in-person counseling for City of Whittier tenants and landlords regarding their respective rights and responsibilities under California law. In addition, the Housing Rights Center provides services in three other areas: 1) discrimination complaint investigation, 2) enforcement and legal services, and 3) education and outreach. Individuals may contact the Housing Rights Center toll free at (800) 477-5977.

The Housing Rights Center's mission is to actively support and promote freedom of residence through education, advocacy, and litigation, to the end that all persons have the opportunity to secure the housing they desire and can afford, without regard to their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, familial status, marital status, disability, ancestry, age, source of income or other characteristics protected by law.

List of Affordable Rental Housing and California Assembly Bill 987 Statement

In October 2007, the Governor signed AB 987 requiring redevelopment agencies to compile, maintain, and make available to the public a database of existing new and substantially rehabilitated income restricted units assisted with moneys from a redevelopment agency’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Set-Aside Fund. The database listing affordable rental units is posted on the City of Whittier’s Community Development Department website and can be accessed here. Please note that, housing units created or rehabilitated for victims of domestic violence will be excluded from the public domain. A separate database that includes other affordable rental units within the City of Whittier that were not assisted by the Whittier Redevelopment Agency can be accessed here.

For information on Whittier’s owner-occupied affordable units or for other questions, please contact Redevelopment and Housing division staff at (562) 567-9320.

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