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City Suit Alleges Affordable Housing Violation  
By Lookout Staff

February 18, 2010 -- The City of Santa Monica filed a lawsuit late last week against the owners of a Colorado Avenue apartment complex, alleging they had failed to comply with an affordable housing agreement. The City Attorney’s Office says the owners had previously been warned about the issue.

A 1998 development agreement granted the owners of the 300-unit Arboretum zoning variances in exchange for a guarantee that 97 units would be rented to low- and middle-income tenants at a rate capped by a City formula.

An audit by the City’s Housing Division concluded the owners are renting to ineligible tenants and had failed to verify eligibility of the tenants in 33 units.


“The City has already given the Arboretum’s owners opportunities and time to resolve these violations,” Deputy City Attorney Gary Rhoades said in a City press release.

“Filing this case will help us to finally achieve compliance at the Arboretum and it will also send a message to Santa Monica’s other owners of affordable units that they must hold up their end of the bargain,” he said.

The owners and managers of the apartment identified in the lawsuit are BlackRock Realty Investors Inc., CSHV Arboretum LLC, and Riverstone Residential Group, Inc.

For the past two decades, the City had made similar agreements with apartment developers. More than 800 units in Santa Monica are deed-restricted for affordable housing. The Aboretum has the most units with this deed restriction.


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