Dept. of Agriculture, Grants and Funding, Housing

Farmworker, Low-Income Housing for Somerton Pending

From YumaSun.com, Cesar Neyoy, Bajo el Sol, 26 Sept 2011.

SOMERTON, AZ — A 34-unit apartment complex could open up to farmworkers or low-income families in Somerton in two or three years, pending the city council’s final approval of a rezoning for the project.

The city council gave preliminary approval last week to a request by Housing America Corp. to rezone a 3.83-acre parcel on Cesar Chavez Street from low- to high-density to permit the project.

The complex, to be built with a $4 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, would consist of two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments.

Twenty-four of the units would be reserved for agricultural workers and 10 for low-income families, whose rents could be subsidized by the USDA depending on their income levels.

Housing America, a nonprofit self-help housing organization based in Somerton, needed to secure the zoning change to remain eligible for the financing, said Irma Myers, the organization’s executive director.

“This is something that’s very good for us because without (approval of the zoning ordinance), the funding process we’ve already started would have stopped.”

The land-use change is subject to a second reading before the council and a final vote of approval at an upcoming meeting.

In August, the council voted to deny the rezoning because of concerns about security in the complex and because of concerns by surrounding residents about the impact of the development on the neighborhood.

Somerton Vice Mayor Arturo Magana said the council decided to approve the zoning after Housing America satisfied residents’ concerns.

Housing America predicts the complex would ready for occupancy in 2013 or 2014.

Source: YumaSun.com, “Farmworker, low-income housing for Somerton pending” by Cesar Neyoy, Bajo el Sol, 26 Sept 2011.

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