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Proposed 184-unit affordable housing complex in Santa Maria up for review

centennial apartment lot.JPG
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 20:49:43-04

The City of Santa Maria's Planning Commission will hold a meeting Wednesday night about a new project that would bring in more affordable housing.

Plans are to build 184 affordable apartments on more than six acres at the corner of Miller Street and Plaza Drive.

"Affordable" means it has to be accessible to people who make 60% or less of the area's median income. In Santa Barbara County, the median income for a household of four is $124,900.

"You would have to earn less than a certain amount but on the other hand, it would also make sure that you don't pay more than a certain percentage of your income towards rent," said Chuen Ng, City of Santa Maria Director of Community Development.

Ng says that's typically about 30%.

People would have to show proof of income to be eligible to move in.

"Anecdotally, we're hearing that there's a tremendous need for affordable housing, and I think we know that from the high number of applications that we're getting for accessory dwelling units."

City officials say they expect a project of this scale to cost around $40 million, and that it could be another 12 months of planning before construction begins.

The planning commission will hold a meeting via Zoom to discuss the next steps in the Centennial Square apartment complex project. It's scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on July 21. Click here for the full agenda and links to join.