PALMDALE – Thanks to the efforts of City staff and Assemblyman Steve Fox, the City of Palmdale has recouped $2.7 million in housing funds that were originally identified by the State of California’s Department of Finance as unencumbered funds when the City’s Redevelopment Agency was dissolved last year and replaced by its Successor Agency (Agency).
The Department of Finance issued letters of determination in Nov. and Dec. 2012 which required the City to give up $2.7 million dollars that were dedicated to the continued construction of the Transportation Center townhome development project. Working diligently to build its case that it would not be able to pay future obligations, the City resubmitted documents and contacted Assemblyman Fox for assistance in reversing their decision.
In a letter sent to Palmdale Housing Manager Mike Miller, the California Department of Finance Local Government Consultant Steve Szalay wrote, “based on a review of clarifying information provided to Finance after the Meet and Confer process, Finance is reversing its previous adjustment made to the Due Diligence Review’s (DDR) stated balance of Low and Moderate Income Housing Fund (LMIHF) available for distribution to the taxing entities. Finance originally denied the Agency’s request to retain $2.7 million due to a lack of evidence there would be insufficient property taxes to pay future obligations.”
Szalay further wrote, “The Agency has since demonstrated a need to retain $2.7 million in LMIHF balances to pay housing obligations where Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fun ((RPPTF) will be insufficient within the required timeframe.”
“We are thrilled with the Department of Finance’s decision to refund our housing money,” said Palmdale City Manager Dave Childs. “These funds are vital to what we are doing to create a sustainable community through our housing program here in Palmdale.”
“We are extremely thankful for the help provided to us on this matter by our Assemblyman Steve Fox,” said Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “Without Steve’s assistance and his relationships with California Senate Pro Tem Steinberg’s office and Assembly Speaker Perez, this would not have been possible. He has helped Palmdale tremendously and we are all deeply appreciative for his efforts.”
“These funds are invaluable to us as we pursue completing the Wright Brothers Court Apartment building and continue the owner occupied townhome development for Transit Village,” said Miller. “This determination by the Department of Finance will not require us to re-direct monies from other projects and allow for the City to fund existing housing programs which will improve the quality of our housing stock in Palmdale and help create better, more sustainable neighborhoods.”
For more information, call the City of Palmdale’s housing division at 661-267-5126.
(Information via press release from the City of Palmdale.)