The Bank of America Foundation recently awarded Mutual Housing California a $25,000 grant for predevelopment expenses of 61 new apartments and townhomes in Woodland for agricultural workers and their families.
“Stable, affordable housing and home ownership are the cornerstones of financial prosperity for individuals and communities,” said Lori A. Rianda, Bank of America senior vice president for global corporate social responsibility.
When it opens in 2015, Mutual Housing at Spring Lake is expected to bring the green revolution to a population that has not been able to take advantage of it in the past. The community will be one of the first zero net energy communities for farm workers and their families in Northern California.
“Bank of America’s investment will enable Mutual Housing to continue to assist individuals and families in the Woodland community,” Rianda said.
Added Rachel Iskow, Mutual Housing California’s chief executive officer, “With Spring Lake, Mutual Housing hopes to begin closing the ‘green divide,’ bringing the benefits of the green revolution to a population that has been shut out of them so far.”
In a Mutual Housing survey of workers in the fields, at packing houses and processing plants, respondents said utility expenses were their main concern after rent. The photovoltaic installations at Spring Lake are designed to produce at least as much energy as is used by the community.
Located in the Spring Lake subdivision, the development will have a community center with a counseling office, computer learning lab, free Internet access for residents, community gardens and open space nearby.
The funds will help with energy and environmental analysis, site surveys, architectural and landscape design, site survey, appraisals, legal services and loan fees.
Predevelopment work should be finished by year’s end. Construction should start immediately and be completed by early 2015, a news release said.
Funding also has come from federal and state tax credits, including the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state of California Joe Serna Jr. Farmworkers Housing Grant Program, the city of Woodland, NeighborWorks America and the Yoche Dehe Community Fund.
Wells Fargo Bank is a tax-credit investor. Mutual Housing has a loan commitment from Citibank.
This grant is part of a $23 million philanthropic investment by Bank of America to build and rehabilitate affordable housing, offer foreclosure prevention services and homeowner counseling, and provide other services intended to invigorate and rejuvenate neighborhoods nationally.
Founded in 1988, Mutual Housing California develops and operates rental housing throughout the region. Its communities, which include the recently opened New Harmony in South Davis, are home to about 3,000 residents. For more information, visit www.mutualhousing.com.