Council Approves Issuance of Bonds For Low-Income Housing Project

A map of the proposed low-income residential facility located on the southwest corner of Holland and Willow Avenues. (Clovis Roundup photo)

The Clovis City Council gave approval to the California Municipal Finance Authority to issue a multi-million dollar bond to finance a new low-income residential structure in the southwest corner of the city.

The bond, worth $30 million, comes with no financial or legal liability for the city. The project is still at least two years away from opening for residents. Construction is projected to begin in March of 2021, with completion slated for May of 2022.

Travis Cooper, a representative of the CMFA reiterated to the council that the city assumes no financial risk by approving the bonds.

“These bonds are a private loan between the bank and the borrower, the city is under no obligation whatsoever,” Cooper said. If a foreclosure occurred, the bank would appoint a new non-profit to control the facility, the city would not be forced to assume control, Cooper added.

Because there is no financial or legal risk to the city, much of the council’s discussion focused on the development plans themselves. Councilmember Lynne Ashbeck spoke of the potential objections nearby residents could have to the plan.

“I’m betting there are not a lot of neighbors who live near there that are going to say ‘housing for the homeless is good for the neighborhood’,” Ashbeck said. “This is not going to make a bunch of people happy I can assure you,” she added.

That belief was echoed by Mayor Drew Bessinger; “This could be problematic, but I want to make it successful,” he said.

The City Council heard from a number of representatives from the developers involved who spoke of their qualifications and the outreach they have done with officials at the county-level.

“The company is making a strong investment in the Central Valley,” Kyle Lopez-Schmidt, a representative of the developer, said.

He also cited statistics that showed there is a reduction in calls for service when comparing homeless residents on the street to those in these kinds of housing.

The vote to approve the bonds was unanimous. This was not a vote to approve the project, however. The project is still in the process of raising the funds needed to move further along, as such, that vote is still a ways away.

Ryan Kish
Ryan graduated from Buchanan High School in 2018 and is currently a student at Clovis Community College and plans to transfer to a four-year school to complete a degree in journalism or political science. Ryan was born in Pennsylvania, has lived in four states, and thinks the Yankees need to be more creative with the design of their batting practice hats.