City OKs $2.1M loan for affordable housing

ESCONDIDO — The City Council approved a $2.1 million loan to Solutions for Change on Wednesday to provide housing for low-income and abused residents.

The Vista-based company has acquired the remaining funds to revamp its newly acquired property at 1560 Escondido Blvd.

According to Director of Community Development Jay Petrek’s report, the project will be affordable to households earning less than 80 percent of the area median income.

The council also approved the property to be designated mix-used as 33 residential units with 1,175 square-feet of office space. Plans for the three-story L-shaped building include a main office and community center facing Escondido Boulevard, while a long stretch of units is reserved for housing.

The Planning Commission approved the measure on Oct. 13.

Cost for the project is estimated at $12.1 million as Solutions for Change received nearly $7 million in tax credits plus addition grants along with the city’s contribution.

Solutions for Change Project Manager William Leach said the company expects to begin construction by March 2016.

Mayor Sam Abed applauded the efforts of Solutions for Change, which has developed several projects in Vista and Carlsbad.

“Solutions for Change is creating a successful model,” he added. “They are helping the homeless and those in extreme poverty.”

As for the homes, 22 are 800 square-feet and 11 at 1,010 square-feet.

In addition, two structures will be demolished and 71 parking spaces available to residents and employees.

Solutions for Change received a loan from the Department of Housing and Community Development through their Multifamily Housing Program — Supportive Housing ($2.4 million). In addition, the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program approved a loan for $230,000, but agreed to defer $346,000 of its more than $1.2 million developer fee as a source of funds to the project.

The city also approved adding $86,861 in funds from the San Diego Foundation in the Hubbard St. Clare Property Proceeds Fund, which is used to support battered and abused women and children in Escondido.

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