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Proposed affordable housing projects target the most vulnerable

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WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION-TV) Two high-quality affordable housing projects- one in Watsonville and one in Greenfield- may soon be coming to the Central Coast.

The proposed project in Watsonville targets farm workers, Section 8 voucher holders, the disabled and homeless community members in Santa Cruz County.

The design for the housing project dubbed "1482 Freedom Blvd" will consist of 53 one to three bedroom units aimed to increase affordable housing availability in the area.

“It’s expensive to live in Watsonville, a lot of people are being pushed out of Watsonville, they’re moving to Salinas, Los Banos...Los Banos has become popular again," says Watsonville City Council Member, Eduardo Montesino.

The projects are being led by the Eden House housing development organization.

The all-electric buildings will be powered by solar panels to increase energy efficiency and balance costs for sustainability.

“They don’t have to worry about making their budget balance out by raising rents or having a certain rate, they  get government fundings," says Rafael Hernandez with Monterey Bay Economic Partnership.

Hernandez says the project for Watsonville has already received a one million dollar commitment from the city.

Other features will include computer and community rooms as a means to provide resources to potential residents.

“Developers, they’ll work with organizations to provide services to residents such as after school programs, senior activities, support programs, so it really is about building a community," says Hernandez.

Council Member Montesino says the housing projects would also help with overcrowding in homes.

“Being homeless or being a farm worker, you’re usually bundled up with a couple families to be able to afford a unit, so now just to be able to be with your own family in a beautiful environment, I think it’s an awesome opportunity," says Montesino.

Community Development officials say permits and approval are still pending.

Watsonville City Council is expected to make a decision for approval Tuesday night.

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Jocelyn Ortega

Jocelyn Ortega is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

Comments

1 Comment

  1. It is needed, but don’t expect the crime rates to go down in whatever neighborhood they are built. But at least with a sufficient number of affordable housing units, they can contain the crime a little better. Kind of a where not to go if you visit Watsonville sort of thing. It’s a shame to say that, but what you just described is also known as The Projects. Guess who’s coming to dinner?

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