MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In order to help provide affordable housing for workers, the Stanislaus Regional Housing Authority created The 1612 – Micro Community.
“This is a model that can be replicated throughout the state and in different cities,” said SRHA Deputy Director Jim Kruse.
But the journey is far from over.
SRHA Executive Director Barbara Kauss said she and her team are determined to provide affordable apartments for workers.
“Very hectic to get here because we had to do a lot of things very quickly and no one thought we would be able to get all of the paperwork done that we needed to do,” said Kauss.
Just last week, the site of The 1612 – Micro Community was known by a different name: the Clarion Inn.
“I think that this project is innovative. I think it’s something that needs to be copied throughout the nation to handle our housing crisis,” said Kruse.
The building will have a mix of work and living spaces.
Kauss said a waiver in the CARES Act, along with a bank loan, allowed the SRHA to purchase the facility, about half of which will be the organization’s office space. Some of the areas will be rented out for conferences, parties and to business owners.
“We’ll have an open area where we can, hopefully, have some small businesses come in, little kiosks and shops and things like that for the tenants of this,” Kruse told FOX40.
While about 150 of the apartments will be made available for workers who make too much to receive subsidies, the rent will include utilities.
“What we’ve heard from our applicants is sometimes they feel almost penalized for working,” said Kauss.
Kauss said they’ll first renovate the administrative offices, followed by the apartments and hopefully open up to renters within in two years.
“We have a proven track record. I have an excellent staff. I have an excellent commission,”said Kauss. “I have excellent community partners and I have no doubt that we’ll do what we set out to do.”
Organizers said once the work inside is done, they’ll take it outside and build affordable housing for senior citizens.
In order to qualify, Kauss said tenants will need to make 140% of the area’s median annual household, which is anywhere from $38,000 to $80,000 a year.