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State selects Atascadero as a location for new affordable housing project

atascadero affordable housing site.JPG
Posted at 6:54 PM, Sep 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-20 22:18:59-04

Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that the state has identified five state-owned sites for affordable housing.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of General Services are looking to develop the properties.

One of the five sites is located in Atascadero.

“Recently, the state just issued an RFQ, which is really inviting proposals to come into this vacant property that they've declared surplus,” said City of Atascadero Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore.

“This announcement means so much to the people that we are working tirelessly to try to get back into housing because housing is key to helping solve the homelessness price crisis,” said ECHO CEO Wendy Lewis.

The site is defined as a buffer zone just outside of the Atascadero State Hospital along El Camino Real.

“It's excellent that they've invited us to be part of this plan, and any new housing in our community is a great contribution to our local workforce,” said Dunsmore.

“Just like with shelter services, you need to be close to the people that you're serving and that are getting those resources and having that be in a location where it's close to shopping centers, to medical care, and to banking — that is key to having those people be part of our community,” said Lewis.

The plan in place is under executive order N-06-19 which was issued by the governor in 2019 to help solve the housing crisis.

“Developers of affordable housing can submit their proposals to the state, and the state will review a series of proposals and select one of these lucky housing developers to be able to move forward with a project on these sites,” said Dunsmore.

The price for the units remains to be determined.

“Those numbers actually changed based on the unit size,” said Dunsmore. “Each unit size has a different income maximum to it. For example, a studio apartment has one set income level, a one bedroom, a two bedroom, a three bedroom even larger. They all have different income rates tied to them.”

The goal is to create hundreds of new housing opportunities at an affordable price.

“It just illustrates that we're receptive to putting affordable housing in our community,” said Dunsmore.

“We're excited,” said Lewis. “We're grateful that it's coming down the road, but so much more of that is needed.”

This plan is part of a larger plan to reach the goal of building more than one million affordable homes by 2030.

The other locations identified include Fresno, Covina, Sacramento, and Oceanside.