The City Council has backed a proposal to keep the "affordable" in the city's oldest affordable housing complex.
In a unanimous vote late Tuesday, the council gave the county Area Housing Authority $250,000 as down payment on Los Arboles Apartments, which has 39 units reserved for low-income renters.
The council also tentatively committed to paying an additional $750,000 for rehabilitation of the complex.
Because the apartments were built with a federally subsidized loan, they have controlled rents that are well below market rates.
But the complex is for sale, and the Area Housing Authority is attempting to purchase the site to prevent a private investor from buying it. A private buyer would almost certainly raise rents, which could displace many tenants.
Councilman Andy Fox said the project is important because it preserves existing affordable housing without the need for new construction.
"It provides a needed level of housing stock without having to build new development," Fox said. "It's always a better way to go."
Housing authority Executive Director Douglas Tapking said the city's support will help the authority secure a tentative deal with the complex's current owner, Security Properties.
Tapking said the authority is now waiting for the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to agree to provide subsidies for the project.