Judson Terrace celebrates 40th anniversary

Residents of Judson Terrace in San Luis Obispo will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the nonprofit senior affordable housing residence today with free tours and food at 2 p.m. and speeches by the development’s founder, Paul Ray, and Mayor Dave Romero at 4.

In 1965, Pastor Paul Ray came to the First Baptist Church on Johnson Avenue and discovered the affordable housing situation for seniors in the city was “horrible,” he said, adding, “There are so many things here that make housing expensive.”

Following through on a personal vow to serve the welfare of seniors, Ray spearheaded a feasibility study for affordable senior housing in San Luis Obispo and set the project into motion.

The 11 residential buildings were completed in 1970 with a $1.5 million grant — $8.5 million by today’s standards — from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, obtained with the assistance of then-U.S. Rep. Burt Talcott. The city and county of San Luis Obispo also both made significant monetary contributions, according to Judson Terrace administrator Roger Jump.

Members of the First Baptist Church assisted with loans and hundreds of hours of construction, painting and carpeting.

Judson Terrace Lodge, a disabled-accessible area, was added in 2004 with a HUD grant. Both facilities are managed by the nonprofit organization American Baptist Homes of the West.

Judson Terrace and Lodge now provide housing and supportive services to about 140 seniors. Rent is determined on a sliding scale, with very low-income seniors paying 30 percent of their income and low-income seniors paying $348 to $453 a month.

There is a waiting list of two to nine months for studios and one to two years for a one-bedroom unit.

Judson Terrace is at 3000 Augusta Ave.