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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Council OKs Plan for Senior Housing

December 21, 2000

THOUSAND OAKS — City leaders unanimously approved a project that will eventually add 57 units to the city's stock of affordable housing for senior citizens.

Oak Creek Senior Villas, which will cost $9.2 million to build, could break ground as soon as February or March, said Mark Asturias, housing and redevelopment manager.

City Council initially approved the project in 1995, but it has taken five years to complete the plans and deal with a few unexpected setbacks, city officials said.

Funding for the apartment complex, which will be on Thousand Oaks Boulevard, comes from local, state and federal sources. The project will be operated by Many Mansions, a local nonprofit group dedicated to affordable housing.

"This has been a long time coming," said Mary Harris, an affordable housing advocate. "Housing in general is a crisis and it's particularly bad for seniors."

The council on Tuesday also approved a request by council members Ed Masry and Linda Parks to study the city's options in helping renters of mobile-home spaces to become owners of the parks where their units are located.

Many residents of mobile homes are senior citizens on fixed incomes, and ownership of the underlying land would give them some stability that rent increases won't eventually force them onto the street, Masry said.

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