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OXNARD | Countywide Focus

New Complex Turns Dreams Into Reality

February 25, 1996|ERIC WAHLGREN

Holding his 2-year-old son in one arm, Miguel Diaz proudly led visitors through his new Oxnard home Saturday during a ceremony celebrating the opening of one of the city's few low-income apartment developments built since the 1970s.

"We never dreamed we would have a place like this," said Diaz, a native of Chile who moved to Oxnard seven years ago.

Diaz, his wife and four children are among 32 families who recently moved into the apartment complex on Villa Solimar at Donlon Avenue and Driffill Boulevard.

Built by the Cabrillo Economic Development Corp., a countywide nonprofit home builder, the three-bedroom apartments rent for about $700 a month.

The city and Oxnard's Redevelopment Agency contributed about $850,000 toward the $5-million project.

Tenants underwent a rigorous application process, including home visits and orientations, said resident manager Grace Oseki.

"I think people were pretty happy to come here," Oseki said.

"Probably for most people, it is a big improvement from where they were living before."

For Diaz, the new apartment is a giant step up from the cramped two-bedroom apartment he used to rent in north Oxnard.

His children have room to play in the new three-level home, which boasts a two-car garage and a spacious living room.

About the only thing missing, he said, is a school bus stop out front.

"It's a dream," he said. "I still can't believe it."

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