OCEANSIDE — The announcement that an UrbanLIFT grant will fund building the Kay Parker Family Resource Center at the planned Mission Cove affordable housing project bought applause for two reasons.
Community members were glad to have a family resource center as part of the city’s low-income housing project, and equally pleased the name of the center will honor the late Kay Parker, a beloved, fair housing advocate.
Kay’s husband Dick Parker helped accept the grant at the City Council meeting April 16. He said the honor of naming the resource center after his late wife was well deserved.
The Mission Cove affordable housing and mixed-use project on Mission Avenue is being developed through a partnership between the city and National Community Renaissance nonprofit developer.
The project will break ground this summer. Grading and infrastructure are set to begin in July.
The next step in construction is to build the family resource center, 90 affordable housing units for families, veterans, seniors and transitional youth, and rentable business space.
Then 130 senior housing units will be added.
As the final step 60 more affordable housing units, and additional business space will be built.
The 14.5-acre mixed-use project will also include a garden area, walking paths, tot lots, and open space.
The Kay Parker Family Resource Center will serve as the hub of the housing project. Plans are to provide day care, and family services at the center.
A $294,000 Wells Fargo UrbanLIFT grant was awarded to National Community Renaissance for the housing project and family resource center. The grant is awarded to help strengthen neighborhoods impacted by foreclosures.
“We’re extremely grateful for Wells Fargo’s commitment to this important project,” John Seymour, National Community Renaissance vice president of acquisitions, said.
The vision for the family resource center is a reflection of what Parker advocated for the community.
Parker worked as a housing commissioner for 20 years, speaking from her heart to promote clean, quality housing for low-income working families and others in need.
“There is no greater reward than to have a positive impact on the life of a child,” Parker said, at the grand opening of the 80-unit La Mision Village affordable housing project on Mission Avenue in 2008.
Parker was a proponent of quality affordable housing, and city legislation that supported affordable housing.
She led the charge for numerous housing causes including the 22-unit Marisol Apartments on Tremont Street that provide affordable housing for individuals with HIV and AIDS.
Parker and other advocates worked to overcome community concerns about the project built in 1997, when little was known about HIV and AIDS and negative stigmas were falsely attached with the diseases.
Parker was honored for her work by the North San Diego County Branch of the NAACP, and received the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Award, which acknowledges outstanding community civic leaders.
One of the last projects Parker helped to advocate, before she passed away in November 2012, was the Mission Cove mixed-use housing project.
The family resource center will bear her name, and be another acknowledgement to her work and legacy.