Sunday, May 3, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

City OKs $2.5 million more for affordable rentals

By
March 16, 2011 |

The city upped an existing $6 million construction loan by $2.5 million Tuesday night to build 69 affordable apartment units in South Davis.

New Harmony would offer nine one-bedroom, 33 two-bedroom and 27 three-bedroom rentals.

The developer is Sacramento Yolo Mutual Housing Association, a public charity. It asked for the additional funding to give New Harmony a competitive edge in applying for federal tax credits. Projects that have significant public funding contributions have a better chance at receiving tax credits, the association said.

Only 75 projects out of 272 applications — 27.5 percent — were awarded tax credits last year, said Danielle Foster, the city’s housing and human services superintendent. The New Harmony project, at the southwest corner of Cowell Boulevard and Drummond Avenue, was approved a few years ago, but struggled to compete for state and federal funding, Foster said.

The total project cost is estimated at $20.4 million. Of that, Davis’ contribution — from city and redevelopment funds — is almost $10 million when the land dedication value, land loan amount and a pre-development loan and are factored in.

Sacramento Yolo Mutual Housing Association also secured $680,000 in public funds in the form of a federal bank home loan.

In all, the public funds make up 51.6 percent of the project cost, which is about $1.2 million less than the initial estimate due to competitive contractor bidding, Executive Director Rachel Iskow said.

The Davis City Council and Redevelopment Agency board of directors, which seat the same members, voted 4-1 to increase the loan amount at the meeting Tuesday night, but not before a discussion about cost and benefit.

While the council majority felt the project deserved to move forward, Councilman Stephen Souza said he could not support it due to cost. Souza preceded his vote with an explanation that he while he had “supported every single affordable housing project” during his time on the council, he was at his “breaking point because the cost is so high.”

He said he understands the need for affordable housing, but New Harmony is too expensive and the city’s priority should be to figure out how to do more with less.

“At this point in time we have very little resources, very little land left,” he said. “There’s a saying, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Colleagues, it’s broke. We need to fix it.”

Mayor Pro Tem Rochelle Swanson supported the project, although she said she agreed with all of Souza’s concerns. She asked if the project budget could be stretched to build more units if it were not for some of the more expensive eco-friendly design elements.

Iskow said the “green” design meets state requirements and is necessary for getting tax credits.

Two mutual housing association board members spoke at public comment, saying they know first-hand the need for affordable housing in Davis.

Mindy Romero said her family was able to stay in Davis and her children attend quality schools because they got into an affordable home. Romero said there are plenty of others who are on a “waiting list currently and I’ve met some of them.”

Chrisana Newbury said her family, too, was fortunate to live in an affordable home in Davis. Meanwhile, others must live in “sub-standard” conditions or move away, she said.

There are 1,800 affordable housing units in Davis — about 790 are ownership units and 1,010 are rentals. Of the 1,800 units, 1,100 were built with sustained affordability under a recent policy change by the City Council. Previously, affordable projects allowed increases in equity so that the homeowner had financing options for college tuition, retirement or other costs.

César Chávez Plaza on Olive Drive, which opened in 2007, was the last affordable rental project built in Davis. All units are one-bedroom apartments.

Moore Village in Wildhorse, which opened in 2005, was the most recent affordable rental project that featured family housing — one- to three-bedroom apartments.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Garamendi votes against energy, water development bill

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Sports

    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8