Work under Way on Housing Project

From SantaMariaTimes.com, Staff Report, 2 May 2011.

[Los Alamos, CA] — Work has begun on Creekside Village, a low-income housing project in Los Alamos for farmworker families.

Plans call for nine buildings with 39 total rental units — 18 two-bedroom, 18 three-bedroom, and three four-bedroom — as well as a community center, laundry rooms and a tot lot. One of the units will be for an on-site manager.

The 5-acre site is at 33 St. Joseph St., north of San Antonio Creek. Access to the homes will be on a new section of Kahn Way to Gonzales Drive.

The developers are Lompoc-based Surf Development Company and The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara, a property-management agency that is separate from county government.

Surf Development Company is a nonprofit associate of the Housing Authority, also based in Lompoc.

Preliminary work on the site began last week, said John Polanskey, the Housing Authority’s director of housing development.

The contractor is Fresno-based Ashwood Construction, and completion is expected to take 16 months. A ceremonial ground-breaking was held last month.

Low- and very-low-income households of those working in agriculture will be given preference. While the project is under construction, the Housing Authority will work with employers and other groups to identify potential residents, Polanskey said.

Creekside Village is meant to fill a need in the North County for affordable housing focused on year-round agriculture workers in the surrounding area, he said, but applications from employees in non-farm industries will also be accepted.

Eight of the units will comply with accessibility rules in the Americans with Disabilities Act. There will also be on-site medical and dental services from Community Health Centers of the Central Coast to residents and community members.

Between 108 and 123 people are projected to live in the units, about a 10 percent increase to Los Alamos’ population.

Funded by the Housing Authority, Surf Development Company, WNC & Associates, US Bank, Santa Barbara County, and the state’s Joe Serna Jr. Farmworker Housing grant program, the $19.1 million project is scheduled for completion in fall 2012.

The project has been in the works for more than 10 years, Polanskey said.

Planning began in February 2001.

Source: SantaMariaTimes.com, “Work under way on housing project,” Staff Report, 2 May 2011.


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