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C.O.R.E. Scores Affordable Housing: San Bernardino

By   /   June 19, 2014  /   Comments Off

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“The 75 units at Ninth Street and Valencia Avenue will be in two buildings with on-site amenities including a 2,200-square-foot clubhouse community building, a child play area, and a 1,000-square-foot laundry/maintenance facility. One market-rate unit, for an on-site manager, will also be built.

Councilman Henry Nickel calculated that the $1.5 million of HUD money the city was spending, divided by 75 market-rate units added to Waterman Gardens, equated to $20,000 per unit.”

SAN BERNARDINO >> The nonprofit group behind the Waterman Gardens Affordable Housing Project will build 75 affordable units at Ninth Street and Valencia Avenue, replacing that number of low-income apartments at Waterman Gardens with ones sold at market rate.

The switch follows a 6-1 vote at Monday’s City Council meeting, with Councilman John Valdivia opposing the plan.

The same vote breakdown came later in the same meeting, when the group — Rancho Cucamonga-based National CORE — was granted $1.5 million of uncommitted Home Investment Partnership funds, leaving the city only $4,000 of those funds.

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is designed to create affordable housing for low-income households.

That means it can’t be used for the city’s general fund — to shore up police, firefighting, parks or libraries, for instance — but it could have been used for community rehabilitation, encouraging first-time purchases, mobile home renovation and other programs related to that goal, said Brandon Mims, the city’s deputy housing director.

The money could better be spent on other projects, Valdivia said, suggesting that National CORE “has a good story” that should be able to convince private investors, rather than taxpayers, to fund them.

Resident Scott Olson emphasized the point later.

“There are 47 mobile home parks in San Bernardino, with thousands of residents,” Olson said. “You just told them you don’t care.”

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