Sue Reynolds (Community HousingWorks), deputy mayor Esther Sanchez, councilmember Jerry Kern, mayor Jim Wood, National CORE president Steve PonTell, councilmember Gary Felien, councilmember Jack Feller, and National CORE VP of acquisitions John Seymour
  • Sue Reynolds (Community HousingWorks), deputy mayor Esther Sanchez, councilmember Jerry Kern, mayor Jim Wood, National CORE president Steve PonTell, councilmember Gary Felien, councilmember Jack Feller, and National CORE VP of acquisitions John Seymour
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As ground is broken on the largest affordable-housing project in San Diego County, all that remains for the complex is to finalize the patchwork of funding.

At a cost of $92 million, the Mission Cove Apartments will provide 288 new residences for Oceanside families who wait an average of seven years to obtain subsidized housing. With an expected move-in date sometime in 2017, the project will be nearly 13 years in the making.

“It's been a long, long, long time coming,” said mayor Jim Wood at a groundbreaking ceremony on August 12.

The Mission Cove project began in 2004, when the land was identified as a prime site for affordable-housing development. The city purchased the 14.5-acre lot on Mission Avenue in 2006, but the project was stalled in 2011 by the statewide budget crisis that resulted in the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies.

“When they unwound redevelopment, it almost undid it,” said councilmember Jerry Kern.

When the dust settled, Mission Cove did receive some of the money that was due and wasn't redistributed to the state, said Kern, “but there is no more money for future affordable-housing projects coming from a now-defunct agency.”

Then, in 2012, as the city began conducting community meetings to settle on a vision for the project, Kay Parker, the driving force behind Mission Cove and several affordable-housing projects in Oceanside, passed away.

“Mrs. Parker was a longtime chair of the housing commission who led the commission’s decisions knowledgeably and thoughtfully,” said Margery Pierce, head of the city's Neighborhood Services division.

“Her dedication to those in need and her willingness to speak for those without voices will be memorialized by naming the Community Resource Center in her name,” said Pierce.

According to city officials, the apartments, resource center, and 10,000 square feet of retail space will be installed in four phases and funded from different sources. Most of the money is from private capital, but the city has already committed nearly $17 million to different parts of the project, cobbled together from federal grants (which can be used to finance the housing but not retail space), the city's general fund, and other sources.

Last year, $650,000 was set aside from the sale of a city-owned mobile-home park.

This week, Oceanside will consider issuing bonds to raise $20 million for the 138 senior apartments that are part of the project.

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Comments

Visduh Aug. 20, 2014 @ 8:20 p.m.

It's amazing how this den of vipers, aka the Oceanside city council and mayor, can all show up for a photo op and smile, smile, smile. There are two factions there, and they hate each others guts. That's a wonderful spot for a housing project--that's what it is--right down on the flat of the valley next to the airport, on a very busy highway. But, I guess that beggars can't be choosers, and if you want "affordable" or subsidized housing, that's about as good as it will get.

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AlexClarke Aug. 21, 2014 @ 7:52 a.m.

As it should be however many apartment developers use low income set asides as a way of getting their projects approved. There will never be enough low income housing as it is impossible to keep up with the demand. Housing in San Diego (cities and county) is disproportionate to income. With low wages and low/no benefits and no retirement the need far outstrips the availability and will continue to grow. It is sad that the business community wants a vote on the wages of the lowest paid workers. How about letting the voters vote on everyone's wages? LOL that would be a hoot.

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