One of the first items of business before the Long Beach City Council in 2021 could legitimize illegally converted garage apartments and other unpermitted housing.

The city's Development Services Department will present the proposal at the Jan. 5 council meeting, according to a release. It would involve an amnesty program to allow people to bring dwelling units up to code and get them permitted.

This zoning change is one of several policy changes designed to increase affordable housing in Long Beach. The City Council asked for "out-of-the-box" housing solutions last year.

To qualify for the amnesty, an owner must bring the unit up to current fire, life and safety standards. Also, a minimum 10-year affordability covenant would be required.

For more information or to submit written testimony, contact Alison Spindler-Ruiz, Planner, at alison.spindler-ruiz@longbeach.gov or call 562-570-6946.

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Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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