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Three city-owned properties are being sold and will be converted into six affordable housing units by a nonprofit to help alleviate homelessness.
Editors’ Note: This dispatch is part of the Voice of OC Youth Media program, working with student journalists to cover public policy issues across Orange County. If you would like to submit your own student media project related to Orange County civics or if you have any response to this work, contact Digital Editor Sonya Quick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City Council at its April 13 meeting unanimously approved a development agreement, which included the sale of the properties at 617, 625, and 637 West La Veta Ave., to Shelter Providers of Orange County, Inc., for $700,000, which will be paid to the city over 30 years.
All six planned housing units will be affordable for people earning 50% or less of the area median income for 55 years, according to a city staff report.
The city originally bought the homes on La Veta in the 1990s to demolish for a planned street-widening project that never moved forward. The original purchase for $514,378 was made with gas tax funds, which will be reimbursed first. The remaining profit will go to the general fund, the staff report says.
This is not the first time Orange has worked with the Shelter Providers of Orange County, Inc.
In 2017, the nonprofit opened the Family Care Center in the city. The shelter holds 56 beds and provides year-round emergency services to families in need, according to the staff report.
“This is a very easy decision in my mind because it’s a partner that we’ve worked with in the past and had great results,” Mayor Mark Murphy said.
Shelter Providers, which is part of the national organization HomeAid, plans to fully rehabilitate the just purchased 800- to 1,000-square-foot homes using private donations to meet the city’s historic preservation design standards. Each property will get an additional unit, about 700 square feet each, according to the staff report.
“We believe that housing is truly the only way to end homelessness, and to provide those who are unhoused a safe and dignified place to call home,” Gina Scott, the executive director of HomeAid of Orange County, said in a presentation to the council.