Sacramento, UC Davis reach agreement on affordable housing for proposed Aggie Square

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Sacramento city and UC Davis officials announced what they call a milestone in the development of the controversial Aggie Square innovation hub on Stockton Boulevard Thursday. 

It sounded great on paper, an innovation hub surrounding the UC Davis medical complex on Stockton Boulevard that would bring thousands of high-tech jobs to the city. 

But in December, a coalition of a dozen neighborhood groups called Sacramento Investment Without Displacement filed a lawsuit saying that the university’s environmental impact report didn’t address the loss of affordable housing. 

The lawsuit claimed that residents in low-income neighborhoods, like adjacent Oak Park, would be priced out of their homes by high-income workers attracted to Aggie Square. 

Mayor Darrell Steinberg announced an agreement Thursday with community groups that would provide $50 million to support affordable and workforce housing as a part of the Aggie Square development. 

The agreement also guarantees that 25% of the new jobs go to local residents.  

“We ensure that the benefits of the new job creation extend to the communities where the development is located,” Steinberg explained.

UC Davis Chancellor Gary May says the university will invest in the neighborhood as well. 

“$1.1 million to help further the city of Sacramento’s vision for Stockton Boulevard to increase walking, biking and transit use,” May said.

Most excited is Elgin Bradley, who has owned the Touch of Class restaurant on Stockton Boulevard for over 40 years. 

“The housing, the jobs the transportation accompanying this development is really going to benefit the community, going to benefit the neighbborhood,” Bradley said.

The group that filed the lawsuit said its goal was to make sure existing residents suffered no economic harm. Whether the new guarantees written into the development agreement satisfies their concerns is yet to be determined. 

The Sacramento city council is expected to approve the Aggie Square agreement at a meeting scheduled for April 6.

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