Santa Paula Times

City Council rejects CEDC request for Yale apartment rehabilitation grant

January 10, 2003
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe City Council, acting as RDA Directors, unanimously rejected a request by an affordable housing developer to secure a Redevelopment Agency housing set-aside grant to rehabilitate a Santa Paula apartment complex into affordable units for senior citizens.The council made the decision during the closed session at the Dec. 16th meeting, according to Deputy City Clerk Josie Herrera.Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation had asked the city to grant $195,000 towards the Yale Street project as well as approximately $33,000 in infrastructure improvements, but the council, facing looming state cuts targeting unencumbered RDA set-aside housing funds, declined.The council “hopes to work with Cabrillo in the future. . .” noted Herrera, but cannot commit the funds at this time.Earlier in the meeting, CEDC Project Manager Bernardo Perez told the council that county grant funding has been secured, and although CEDC has been “working with a willing seller, it will be lost without the additional funds. . .”CEDC had scaled back its original request for funding from the city by about $100,000, Perez noted.The units would be converted to market rate rents if the purchase is not completed, and CEDC would ensure that the property would not again fall into disrepair.
In addition, CEDC would enter into a PILOT agreement - Payment in Lieu of Taxes - with the city to offset any property tax loss, Perez noted.“My understanding is that there has been no commitment,” of any city funds to the project, said City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz.Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation is requesting “$195,000 total plus infrastructure improvements of approximately $33,000, to be covered by RDA or Community Development Block Grant,” funds, said Bobkiewicz. “I want to make sure for the record that that’s clear. . .”Perez agreed, but noted that an Oct. 2nd letter from the RDA noted that the agency had taken action to consider the request and had “expressed willingness to provide,” $100,000 to the project.The request by CEDC “was a large amount of funds as they pertain to the total fund balance,” of unallocated RDA monies, said Herrera, which also factored into the council’s rejection.