A groundbreaking ceremony was held today in Pismo Beach at the site of the city’s first low-income housing project.
The project at 360 Park Ave., near Ira Lease Park, will include 14 units built specifically for those who meet certain income levels, a community room, a laundry facility and meeting space.
In March, the City Council and the Pismo Beach Redevelopment Agency approved a development agreement with San Luis Obispo-based Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, which will design, construct and manage the estimated $4.3 million project.
Some grading started on the site in October, said Scott Smith, deputy director of the non-profit organization.
He anticipates that Peoples’ Self-Help Housing will start taking applications for the rental complex in July 2012, about three months before construction is expected to wrap up.
The units will be reserved for those making 30 percent to 50 percent of the area median income, which varies depending on family size. This year, the income range for a three-person household is $20,000 to $33,500 annually, Smith said.
The project’s goal is to “provide a housing development that (is) affordable to many people that work in Pismo Beach, the restaurants, hotels and other service industries,” Smith wrote in an email.
The council had also agreed to loan the nonprofit organization $1.6 million to assist with the project’s development and to waive $41,915 in planning and building fees. Funds for the loan come out of money the city requires developers to pay if they don’t include low-income homes in their developments.
The city bought the 26,620-square-foot parcel on Park Avenue for about $1 million with money from its Redevelopment Agency, which is required to set aside at least 20 percent of its money for low- and moderate-income housing.
The city has since transferred the land to Peoples’ Self-Help Housing and allowed the agency to purchase the property with a low-interest, 55-year loan. The organization also successfully applied for federal low-income housing tax credits to help fund construction.
Peoples’ Self-Help Housing operates 1,357 housing units in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.