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Project Urged to Cut Affordable Housing

May 18, 1999|TONY LYSTRA

The city wants more affordable housing, but doesn't want it to look like affordable housing.

That's the message the city's Affordable Housing Subcommittee gave to developer Cabrillo Economic Development Corp. during the panel's first meeting with the company last week.

The developer wants to build a 91-unit apartment complex on the corner of Alamo Street and Fairbanks Avenue. Forty-five of the units would be designated affordable housing, renting for about $658 a month for a two-bedroom unit and $756 per month for a four-bedroom unit.

Mayor Bill Davis, a committee member, said designating 49% of the units as affordable is not acceptable to city officials.

Such a proposal would "have people out here shouting bloody murder," Davis said.

Historically, the city has not approved more than 25% subsidized affordable housing in one area with the exception of senior citizen developments.

Officials say the city likes to mix affordable housing units with those that rent for the market rate, so residents don't know where affordable housing is located, said Councilwoman Barbra Williamson, a committee member.

"When you exceed that 25%, you start to get into an area where perhaps people think you're looking at public housing," she said.

Jesse Ornelas, who represented Cabrillo at the subcommittee meeting said the economic development agency will probably reduce the number of affordable units.

"You have to work with what the city policies are," Ornelas said.

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