Tuesday’s American Canyon City Council meeting was all about affordable housing.
Councilmembers voted to negotiate a contract with Affordable Housing Associates of Berkeley for the 3.7-acre Valley Vista senior housing project at 31 Theresa Avenue. The nonprofit company was one of nine firms that bid on the project. According to the winning proposal, the project could create 70 affordable units — 60 single-story cottage units and a 10-unit two-story apartment building — with monthly rents in the $430-$875 range.
The proposal includes amenities such as a clubhouse and open space. As proposed, there will be an on-site property manager, an assistant manager, janitorial and maintenance services, low-cost meals, a free van service, exercise classes and more.
Susan Friedland, executive director, and Eve Stewart of Affordable Housing Associates were on hand to answer questions. Stewart said there would be a six-month outreach effort for input from the city’s senior community and the property’s neighbors.
Dana Shigley, city manager, said it was going to be a long process to negotiate an agreement and secure funding.
“This is just the beginning,” said Shigley.
Councilmember Joan Bennett said the senior housing would fill a need.
“It’s a building block that’s been missing from our community,” said Joan Bennett.
The city purchased the Theresa Avenue parcel for senior housing using funds from its affordable housing program in 2010.
Councilmembers also voted to apply for a $700,000 grant, money to be used for purchasing or rehabilitating houses. The grant is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the state’s Housing and Community Development department.
Brent Cooper, the city’s Community Development director, said staff was recommending the funds, if received, be divided almost two-to-one for homebuyers versus rehabilitation. But, Cooper said, the city could revise the distribution. The primary requirement, Cooper said, is the funds be spent.
The funds can be used for a maximum $70,000 down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers. Qualified recipients could defer the loan for up to 30 years at what’s described as a “nominal” interest rate.
The grant program could help the city fulfill its goal of providing home ownership for low and moderate income first-time homebuyers, Cooper’s report said.