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Paso Robles mayor seeking funding from county for affordable housing

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The Mayor of Paso Robles is pushing to bring more affordable housing to the area and looking for ways to fund it.

"There are so many people out there who are like me who are trying to work every single day just to afford to live," said Desiree Pappas, Paso Robles resident.

Pappas has been on the waiting list for the Oak Park Affordable Housing Development since 2014.

"We call every few months. We get a letter every six months just asking if we want to stay on the list," she said.

She's in the 300's on a list of more than 500 names.

While the demand is there, Paso Robles Housing Authority Executive Director David Cooke says the supply isn't and what it comes down to is funding.

"People need the housing now. We have people coming in daily needing housing now. They may be homeless and we have to turn them away. We just don't have the housing available," Cooke said.

But the Mayor of Paso Robles is hoping to change that. He's proposing to the County of San Luis Obispo that about five percent of property taxes generated in the City of Paso Robles be set aside for affordable housing. 

"Right now, our estimates are the property taxes already generated in the City of Paso Robles, it's about $27 million. Of that, the greatest piece goes to the school system and out of every dollar about 23-cents goes to the County of San Luis Obispo. Out of every dollar about 10-cents goes to the City of Paso Robles," said Mayor Steve Martin.

He's proposing that a portion of the share that goes to the county be saved for affordable housing in Paso Robles.

Housing that made it possible for Crystal Herrera's mother to raise three kids as a single parent.

"It made it convenient for her to work one job and spend more time with us. If not, she would have to work about three jobs in order to afford housing here in Paso," said Herrera.

Mayor Martin says First District Supervisor John Peschong should receive a letter tomorrow regarding his proposal.

He says the next step would be to get this item on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors' agenda.

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