Modular Housing on Hold: Funding Short, Lawsuit Outcome Unclear

Updating a story posted April 7, 2014 regarding a modular eight-unit affordable housing project in St. Helena, California, the tells us Calistoga Affordable Housing (CAH) still needs to raise $681,000. The project is too small to compete for affordable housing grants. Projected rents are $1,000 for a two-bedroom, 840-square-foot unit designated for very low income tenants, $1,300 for five 2-bedroom, 840-square-foot low income units, and $1,500 for two 3-bedroom 960-square-foot low income units. The land was donated by vintner Larry Turley to CAH, who wants the land to benefit low income families. Mary Stephenson, co-founder of Our Town, an affordable housing advocacy group, says, St. Helena “needs employee housing at all levels, but the hardest to finance is low and very low.”

Meanwhile, a lawsuit has been filed against the city by the former occupants of the rental units on which the housing is to be built, alleging discrimination in condemning the property and forcing them out. The city says the rental units were illegal as well as health and safety hazards. Although CAH is not party to the suit, it is unclear how a settlement may affect the project, which may also be a hindrance to current fund-raising. ##

(Photo credit: by Minarc of Santa Monica, CA)

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