National housing agency wants Anaheim to reject Angel Stadium deal

The National Housing Agency on Friday urged the Anaheim City Council to reject a revised development agreement for the Angel Stadium property, potentially setting the stage for a new showdown between the agency and the city.

In a statement, the agency said the revised agreement – ​​which reduced the promised number of affordable housing units in the Angel Stadium development project by approximately 80% – shows that the city and the development company of the Angels owner Arte Moreno “doesn’t take our enforcement and affordable housing seriously.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development, or HCD, had accused the city of violating state housing law by not making the property available to affordable housing developers. In order to settle the case, the city last month agreed to a stipulated judgment in which it would commit $96 million – the amount of the fine the city would have been liable for – for the construction of approximately 1,000 affordable housing units in the beyond the stadium property.

At a press conference, California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta touted the settlement as a win-win proposition, with Anaheim getting more affordable housing overall — and faster, since the $96 million in seed capital should be used up within five years.

Moreno’s company, SRB Management, agreed to provide that financing by repaying $96 million in development credits, or about 80 percent of the $124 million the city had credited in the original agreement.

In return, the city negotiated a Disposition and Development Agreement, or DDA, under which the number of affordable housing units SRB would be required to develop at the stadium was reduced from 466 to 84 or 104.

SRB would have 25 years to build these units. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be responsible for repaying his remaining $28 million in development credits.

Artist’s impression of the proposed Angel Stadium development.

(SRB management)

“As we have repeatedly stated, the transaction between the City of Anaheim and SRB violated the Surplus Land Act. We have extracted the maximum penalty and additional affordable housing covenants for this violation,” said Megan Kirkeby, HCD’s deputy director of housing policy development, in a statement late Friday.

“The revised DDA is proof that the city and SRB are not taking our app and affordable housing seriously. HCD will do everything in its power to hold them accountable.

“It is difficult to see how the DDA aligns with the stipulated judgment. We encourage City Council to reject the revised DDA.

The Anaheim Planning Commission approved the revised agreement this week. The city council is expected to approve the revised agreement next month.

It’s unclear how HCD thinks the city might have violated the judgment, or what provisions of the judgment HCD might seek to enforce. HCD declined to comment on Friday beyond the statement.

The ruling encourages the city to seek outside funding to help SRB build as many of the 466 initially proposed affordable units as possible, but specifically states that “the actual number of units to be developed will not be binding.” If SRB does not want to participate in external funding discussions, the stipulation reads: “such refusal shall not constitute a breach of this judgment”.

In a statement, Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster said the settlement meets a goal shared by the city and HCD: more affordable housing, and in this case the largest expansion of affordable housing in the city. history of the city.

“We continue to disagree with the state’s Notice of Violation, which has never been tested in court, and comments on the stadium site development plan,” Lyster said. .

“The development plan is in line with our agreement and we remain committed to exploring additional affordable housing beyond what is requested.

“Now is the time to move forward and put the disagreements behind us, as required by our agreement with the state.”

Margie D. Carlisle