Friday, July 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

New Harmony already feels like home

The New Harmony Mutual Housing Community features solar panels on the roofs of the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments along Cowell Boulevard in South Davis. The complex also features a playground, garden, a half-size basketball court and a community center on 3.38 acres. Donny Lieberman, Sunseri Construction Inc./Courtesy photo

By
From page A1 | February 14, 2013 |

Children run here and there, playing tag, climbing all over the sparkling new playground equipment at the heart of the grounds. Parents haul home groceries after work to cook dinner — though, once the gardens fill out, those grocery bags will be a bit lighter. New neighbors pass by, waving hello, getting acquainted with one another.

It appears that the New Harmony Mutual Housing Community, a brand-new affordable housing development at 3030 Cowell Blvd., already has become a bustling neighborhood in South Davis.

And the city’s newest community was on full display Wednesday when well over 100 people came for tours and to celebrate the grand opening of the first affordable housing complex funded by redevelopment dollars in Davis in more than five years.

“It’s just wonderful to stand here inside a place that’s already housing families who would be at risk of homelessness, or who may not otherwise be able to live in Davis near their work, near school or with their family,” said Davis Mayor Pro Tem Dan Wolk, addressing the crowd that had gathered in the community center to celebrate the opening.

New Harmony was developed by the local branch of Mutual Housing California, which over the past few decades has built homes for more than 3,000 people in the region. More than half of that number are children.

With 69 one-, two- and three-bedroom units, New Harmony offers rents as low as $400 for families earning anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of the median income in the area.

Perhaps highlighting the need for low-income housing in Davis, every single apartment in the complex already has been rented.

About half the families who won the lottery to live in one of the units had moved in as of this week and all of the families are expected to be settled by the end of the month.

“Students, teachers, most people who are hard-working have a great deal of difficulty, and have always had a great deal of difficulty, finding housing in our city,” said state Sen. Lois Wolk, who also was in attendance Wednesday. “So it’s really worth celebrating that 69 more families will be part of this community.”

New Harmony tenants will enjoy an array of amenities in and around the 3.38-acre complex, including a community garden, a full playground, a half basketball court and a community center.

Local artwork is also featured throughout.

Each of the buildings within the community, which uses solar power drawn from panels mounted on the roofs, are LEED-certified, meaning they’ve been verified as “green” structures.

“This is a fitting testament to the legacy of redevelopment,” Dan Wolk added, citing the $8 million the project received from former redevelopment agency dollars. The city also received $1.7 million in federal HOME funds.

Other institutions to contribute included Bank of America, NeighborWorks America, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, Merritt Community Capital Corp., the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee and the Home Depot Foundation.

Redevelopment agencies were forced to dissolve in February 2012 when the state stripped millions of dollars in tax increment from local governments throughout California.

Councilman Lucas Frerichs, who also spoke at the grand opening, said he believes that even without redevelopment the city of Davis can create local opportunities for affordable housing.

“If any community can actually make a go of additional affordable housing in the future, it’s Davis,” said Frerichs, who served on the Yolo Mutual Housing Association board of directors from 2000 to 2008.

The city of Davis has developed more than 1,700 units of affordable housing over the past 25 years.

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .

    News

    California climate change policies to hit our pocketbooks

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

     
    Tech Trekkers boldly go into STEM fields

    By Amy Jiang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Decoding breast milk secrets reveals clues to lasting health

    By Pat Bailey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Artists, photographers invited to support Yolo Basin Foundation

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

     
    Unitarians will host summer camp

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Wetlands visitors will see migrating shorebirds

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    ‘Bak2Sac’ free train ride program launched

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Explorit: Wonderful wetlands right at home

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Recycle old paint cans for free

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Where your gas money goes

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A12

     
    STEAC needs donations of personal care items

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16, 1 Comment

    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

     
    Americans, internationals make connections

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

    .

    Forum

    Thanks for emergency help

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Commenting system to change

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10, 15 Comments

     
    Support these local restaurants

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Let’s get the bench repaired

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Predicting climate changes

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

     
    Clinton’s book is worth a read

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

    .

    Sports

    Hudson solid, Hammels better in Giants’ loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Petrovic, Putnam share Canadian Open lead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Moss powers A’s past Astros

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    My Zenith was whacked, but I wouldn’t trade a thing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Enriquez brilliant, but Post 77 season ends with Area 1 loss

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    The un-Armstrong? Tour ‘boss’ Nibali wins Stage 18

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘A Most Wanted Man’: Superb espionage drama

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Clyde Elmore: Art in the Wild

    By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A9 | Gallery

    Musicians perform at Sunday service

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A17 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Accord’s latest model is most fuel efficient

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Richard ‘Dick’ Robenalt

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, July 25, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A13