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Davis, California

Friday, May 24, 2024

City approves extension on affordable housing project

The New Harmony Affordable Housing Project has been rescheduled to begin construction by June 13, 2012. The multi-family housing complex will be built on the southwest corner of Cowell Boulevard and Drummond Avenue.

The complex will contain nine one-bedroom units, 33 two-bedroom units and 27 three-bedroom units. It will be outfitted for green living, and after it is built, over 80 percent of its energy consumption will be met with renewable energy. It is unclear exactly how this will be done.

The units will be available for very low-income and extremely low-income households. In order to qualify, a household must make 50 percent or less than the average family income in Davis. This was about $94,795 in 2010.

The Davis City Council approved the construction of New Harmony in March 2009, with a construction date at the beginning of 2011. Last Tuesday, the council extended the start date to 2012.

The Sacramento-Yolo Mutual Housing Association (SMHA) is heading the development of the project.

“[SMHA] has worked diligently to secure the remaining construction financing for New Harmony,” said Wendy Carter, project manager, in a statement. “The project was not successful in obtaining tax credits in 2010, and we now plan to apply to the state Multifamily Housing Program [MHP] on March 3.”

The total cost of the project is estimated at $21.9 million. The city will be providing approximately $7 million of the project’s funding. Additionally, the city has dedicated a parcel of land to build the complex, which has an estimated worth of $330,000.

“Once New Harmony secures an MHP award, we will be able to proceed with an application for 4 percent bonds, secure an investor and close the construction loan,” Carter said.

New Harmony will join the existing 1,637 units of affordable housing in Davis.

Most are available at complexes that primarily serve low-income households, such Fox Creek Apartments and Heather Glen Apartments. Other units are available at market-value complexes such as Arlington Farms Apartments and Alhambra Apartments.

Each of these complexes are contracted to provide low-income housing. The complexes are compensated for reduced revenue by state and local grants.

Many apartment complexes in Davis accept Section 8 vouchers. This is a federal program that pays all or a portion of the rent to the landlord on behalf of the resident. There are 35 apartment complexes in Davis that accept Section 8 vouchers.

One of these complexes, Alhambra Apartments on Alhambra Drive, has been accepting these vouchers since 1999.

“We have a mix of units, with 50 percent of them dedicated for affordable housing vouchers,” said Raina Ingram, management assistant. “We have specific units designed for households who have the voucher.”

There is a two-year waiting list for Section 8 voucher holders to obtain a unit at Alhambra.

“There are a lot of affordable housing units in town,” Ingram said. “I don’t see too much need for more affordable housing.”

SARAHNI PECSON can be reached at city@theaggie.org.


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