Plans in Place for Upcoming Affordable Housing Project

City Council approves to move forward with an affordable housing development in the Loma Vista community in east Clovis. (CR Photo)

Plans for an upcoming housing project at the Loma Vista Urban Center are in motion after the Clovis City Council committed funds to The Jefferson Affordable Housing Project during the June 21 meeting.

The Jefferson will have 58 affordable housing units available, inexpensive to residents with less than 60% area median income (AMI).

AMI ranges for one, two, three and four-person housing are around $29,300, $34,000, $41,800 and $45,100, respectively.

The total development budget for The Jefferson is $26.7 million, and developers requested a $1.2 million loan from the City of Clovis.

Community and Economic Development Director Andrew Haussler said that his staff recommended the approval because the project is positioned to compete for funding at the state tax credit level.

He also noted that the county is receiving extra tax credits due to the Creek Fire last year that developers can use for this project.

At the meeting, Austin Herzog, representing the Affordable Housing Development Corporation, spoke to the Council about The Jefferson project’s plans.

For the past 20 years, Herzog’s development company has worked closely with Clovis in producing affordable housing. The Jefferson would be the fifth development by the company in Clovis, with the company’s most notable project being converting the old Clovis Community Hospital to affordable senior living.

Herzog said the project developers would be seeking $22 million in federal and state tax credits.

“We’re very excited to garner some of the resources that are available as a result of the Creek Fire and bring those resources to the City of Clovis,” Herzog said. “We’ll be applying for $22 million in federal and state tax credits.”

Herzog said that the project differs from transitional housing, with residents of The Jefferson having to be employed and subject to background and credit checks.

He said that The Jefferson is workforce housing that will provide working families with decent living they otherwise couldn’t afford due to the rising rent costs in the Central Valley and across California.

“These are stable working families. But they might make $40,000 a year,” Herzog said. “When rent is $2,200 a month for a nice two or three-bedroom, that’s hard to muster.”

Herzog said the project targets incomes that reach down to 30% AMI.

He also mentioned that social services would be provided to residents depending on whether families or seniors reside in The Jefferson. A local nonprofit organization will provide the services through a partnership with the project.

The Jefferson will have a 55-year minimum regulatory agreement on the property and be used for affordable housing for the agreement’s duration.

Also approved by the Council was the Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) program application plan.

The five-year plan ranges from 2019 to 2023, with the revenue over the five years totaling around $2.2 million. The City would receive $365,000 for 2019, $568,000 for 2020, and $419,925 for 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Funds from the PLHA program can be expended on various projects, including multi-family development, rental assistance, homeless services and housing, first-time homebuyer assistance, and housing rehabilitation.

Haussler said that the city would invest the funds received into affordable multi-family developments, like The Jefferson.

The loan received by The Jefferson project would come from the first three years of funding the City would receive.

Haussler stated that this would fill a gap in the community.

“We have been able to bring in money for first-time homebuyers, home rehabilitation [and] homeless housing such as the Butterfly Gardens Project,” Haussler said. “But we do have a gap and multifamily financing right now.”

Anthony De Leon
Anthony De Leon is a journalist who started his career in 2017, covering sports for the Fresno City College Rampage, earning his Associate Degree in the process. He then moved on to Fresno State, working for The Collegian serving as Sports Editor, Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in print journalism. In August, he will begin attending Reynold’s School of Journalism Master’s program at the University of Nevada, Reno.