Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Friday, March 15, 2024

Affordable Housing for Artists in your Cultural Districts Plus Women of Impact

Assemblymember Tasha Boerner, 77th District AB 812 PRO-ARTIST AFFORDABLE HOUSING

The new AB 812 bill approved Oct 11 by the governor and authored by Tasha Boerner allows cities and/or counties to give up to 10% of its very low, low, or moderate-income housing to eligible artists as long as they are within one-half mile from a state-designated cultural district or within a locally designated cultural district if certain income and occupation conditions are met.

We asked Edwin Borbon, Legislative Director for the office of Assemblymember Tasha Boerner to clarify a number of questions we had.  He gave me a very complete explanation which helped me understand so much more clearly about AB 812. We think this is valuable information especially as it clarifies that any city can designate a cultural district. This does not have to be a state designation. And that any city that wants to avail themselves of having artists present in their low income housing projects, a known way to elevate the value of the area, can avail themselves of this 10% advantage.

From Mr. Borbon, “The way it works in practice, is if a city or county has a state or locally designated cultural district, under AB 812, the local government would first have to pass a local tenant preference ordinance for artists within the boundaries of a locally designated cultural district, or within one half-mile from a state designated cultural district. Any deed restricted housing that is within those boundaries and is under the purview of the local govt, either existing affordable developments or future developments, would qualify for the 10% set-aside for artists.”

Yes, the city has to pass a local tenant preference ordinance for artist.  

“The local govt and housing development property management would work together to create an Artist Selection Committee that would create a process for artists preference criteria such as demonstrating consistent participation in a creative art through contributions to their field, a resume describing their art experience and/or education, and samples of recent work. The Artist Selection Committee will be made up of artists of diverse disciplines and backgrounds.”

The property management company will receive applications for the artist preference, as well as the traditional housing application. The property manager will then redact private information from the arts preference application and set it aside for the Artist Selection Committee. These artistic works will not be judged on content, but rather simply in support of qualifying the applicant as an artist. Artists who meet income limits will be offered an opportunity to live in the affordable housing development.”

Yes, the city has to create not only an artist application, but also an artists Selection Committee.  This is not based on the content of the art.

The income qualifications must match the income levels for the affordable housing development so they still have to meet the same income thresholds as all the other residents. When it comes to the eligibility criteria, the income levels for affordable housing are outlined in state statute (as defined in Sections 50079.5, 50093, 50105, and 50106 of the Health and Safety Code), the occupational conditions would be determined by the local city and property management company of the affordable housing development.”

No, the artist do not have different income requirement. But up to 10% of the housing can be given to qualifying artists.

We in the art world who have been pushing for more affordable housing for artists should be thrilled with this bill and grateful to Tasha Boerner. Now it is up to the cities in our county to move forward.  

Patricia Frischer was chosen as a Woman of Impact for Arts and Culture by Tasha Boerner. Below is the utube of the speeches for that presentation. Skip ahead to minute 18 for my arts and culture presentation.  And don't miss the tear inducing one by Dr. Ayana Boyd King at minute 29. It was a super inspiring afternoon.  

All the award recipients! Left to right: Staff Sergeant Debora Rodriguez Caryn Blanton, Dr. Ayana Boyd King, Andrea Schlageter, Dt. Danielle Haulsee, Assemblymember Distict #77 Tasha Boerner, Denise Friedman,  Dana Bristol-Smith, Patricia Frischer, Gaby B. Love,  Bella Villarin.

Text of Speech by Patricia Frischer, founder, San Diego Visual Arts Network

I was born in Kansas City but arrived here from London 27 years ago. I could find no directory for the arts.  That is why created the San Diego Visual Arts Network now listing 2500 visual arts resources from Fallbrook in the north to and including Baja Norte. We have a full events calendar, a gossip column (cause who doesn’t want the inside scoop), reports on Art exhibitions and advocacy issues.    

We have curated many large visual arts projects like the Movers and Shaker… 90 Art VIPs…. not one turned down the chance to have their portrait created and the DNA of Creativity with 5 teams of artists, scientists, teachers and documenters …a magnificent exhibition at OMA.

We are most proud of the SD Art Prize, our ongoing award for excellence in its 17th year. Watch for it at the SD History Center in Balboa Park in the fall. 

We are delighted to have played a part in the reforming of the SD County Wide Commission for arts and culture which we stumped for…it took 15 years and is announcing its brand-new strategic plan in April which is arts and culture month in the state of CA.  

Thank you so much for this honor which recognizes the $1.4 billion dollar arts and culture industry.  This is our huge economic impact on employment and tourism. Kudos to Tasher Boerner for creating the AB812 which mandates affordable housing for artists near cultural districts.  Every city should have a designated cultural district.   

How do we do this with no bricks and mortar, and no paid staff? No, I am not the little women behind the curtain AKA the wizard of OZ. It is done with a ton of volunteers and community involvement, friends and family, county and private foundations. 

We believe that the San Diego Visual Arts Network is a powerful force to connect Art to People and People to Art

We believe that artists serve as interpreters, explorers, and creators of the great unknown 

We believe your life is an artwork, a mess, a makeover and magnificent 

We believe most of all that Art Builds Community.

Congratulation to all the ladies receiving this impact award. I am honored to be one amongst many. 

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