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Orange County Focus

CYPRESS : Council Balks at Housing Proposal

August 29, 1994|BILL BILLITER

A county proposal to bring low-income housing to the city has ground to a halt.

The City Council recently voted unanimously against a county plan to convert a bankrupt apartment complex on Lincoln Avenue into housing for low- and moderate-income families.

Council members said the city did not have enough information about either the housing proposal or the nonprofit sponsor, the Foundation for Social Resources Inc.

The county proposed to finance the housing project with a $1-million bond issue underwritten by the federal government. The foundation would then be given the ownership and operation of the 170-unit apartment complex.

Bill Hirsch, representing the foundation, told the council that the goal of the nonprofit group is to preserve affordable housing. Hirsch said the foundation has several housing projects in Ohio and two in California--Palm Springs and Lemon Grove.

Hirsch said Cypress would benefit from the proposal to rehabilitate the Tara Village Apartment Complex at 5201 Lincoln Ave. Hirsch said his foundation, using the bond-issue money, would make extensive repairs and improvements to the property.

However, Councilwoman Joyce C. Nicholson noted that Cypress already has exceeded its quota for low-income housing.

And Councilwoman Gail H. Kerry said she was worried because some units of the proposed housing project would become tax-exempt, thus reducing income for both the city and the Cypress School District.

Council members told Hirsch they would reconsider the proposal if he and county officials bring back additional information, including data about other foundation housing projects.

Hirsch said he would return to a future council meeting with the proposal and would work with city staff in the meantime.

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