If all goes as planned, work could begin by October or November to turn a five-acre vacant lot west of Highway 63 in northeast Visalia into a 36-unit apartment complex for low-income families.
A major step to move forward with the proposed “Visalia Village” development occurred on Monday, when the Visalia City Council tentatively approved awarding Self-Help Enterprises a $1.8 million loan using federal HOME Investment Partnership funding.
That money, provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is distributed to communities to fund projects that include building, buying and rehabilitating affordable housing, along with rental assistance for low-income people.
Visalia normally gets about $300,000 a year in HOME funding, and the money that will be loaned to Self-Help will include unspent dollars along with additional money HUD is expected to award Visalia next year and payments the city will receive from other loans the city made for low-interest down payments for home buyers and mortgages using the federal money, said Rhonda Haynes, a housing specialist for Visalia’s Community Development division.
In December, the city requested proposals on making use of its HOME dollars, and Self-Help — a nonprofit that works to build and rehabilitate affordable homes in eight Valley counties — submitted the only one.
Self-Help, which has built similar, affordable rental units in Goshen, Dinuba and Cutler-Orosi, plans to build a series of four-plex apartments west of Highway 63 and north of Ferguson Avenue.
Of those units, 24 will have two bedrooms, while 12 will have three bedrooms. None will have garages, but they will have carports.
Instead of backyards, Visalia Village will have a central grass area and basketball court for children to play, along with a 3,190-square foot community center which will have computers for tenants to use and will serve as an after-school care site and classroom for adult education curriculum that may include financial management and English-language training.
Monthly rental rates would rang from $323 to $801, depending on the incomes of the families living there. Tenants would have to meet income criteria to live there. For a example, a family of two adults and two children would have to earn less than $21,648 a year, said Betsy McGovern-Garcia, program director over real estate development for Self-Help Enterprises.
“We acknowledge there is a need for affordable housing for working families there [in Visalia], and this site came to our attention, she said.
McGovern-Garcia said the site being just a short walk south of Fairview Elementary School and Fairview Village Park weighed heavily in the decision, as did its proximity of a Tulare County healthcare clinic, a bus stop, two grocery stores — Food 4 Less and Vallarta — and several restaurants and other businesses.
The entire project is expected to cost more than Harga satria fu $8.13 million, with the HOME funds that Visalia has tentatively agreed to loan Self-Help at a 3-percent interest rate covering less than a quarter of that.
Selp-Help plans to invest $532,000 into the Visalia Village project — which it eventually plans to get back from rental fees — while the bulk of the money will come from selling nearly $6t million worth of low-income housing tax credits to private investors who would get those credits taken off their tax bills.
The city’s commitment for the $1.8 million loan is contingent on Self-Help being authorized to sell the tax credits by the California State Treasurer’s Tax Credit Allocation Committee.
Both city and Self-Help officials seem confident that will happen in April or, if that doesn’t happen, in June after a second round of consideration.
Meanwhile, Haynes said that on Monday her department plans to publicly release a draft consolidated action plan on the types of projects Visalia should help fund with its federal HOME dollars.
She said the plan is based on recommendations harga kawasaki ninja collected by city staff during community meetings that included input from Visalia’s Citizens Advisory, North Visalia Advisory and Disability Advocacy committees, and a public hearing on the proposal has been scheduled for the Visalia City Council’s April 6 meeting.
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