Thursday Apr 03 2008
Sunset Apartments sold to affordable housing developer
By: Michael Althouse
All units will remain â€˜100 percentâ€™ affordable
More than 100 affordable housing units were threatened to be eliminated in Rocklin as the owner of the Sunset Apartments is selling the property, according to an announcement at the March 25 Rocklin City Council meeting. The city has been encouraging the owner to sell the property to an affordable housing group and according to the staff report, Allied Pacific Development, a firm that specializes in affordable housing, has a purchase contract with the owner. Allied Pacific Development plans to acquire the building, in part, by using tax-exempt bonds issued by the California Communities Joint Powers Authority, of which the city of Rocklin is a member. According to Mike LaPierre, program manager for California Communities, the agency has helped to generate more than 46,000 affordable housing units statewide. To get funding through California Communities, a member municipality must make a recommendation on the developer's behalf. The affordable housing developer would need a governmental entity to have a bond issued, LaPierre said. In Rocklin's case, the city is looking at recommending the developer be able to obtain up to $1.5 million in tax-exempt bond funds. We want their (the city's) input, LaPierre said. But (the city doesn't) have any liability. The seller is selling to us, said David Beacham, a partner with Allied Pacific Development. Our goal is to keep affordable housing in California. It is what we do. Allied Pacific Development has purchased a number of affordable housing projects in the 13 or 14 years it has been in business, Beacham said. Allied Pacific plans to use the California Communities monies to improve the property beyond the minimum the law requires. (The funding is) an incredibly complicated process, Beacham said. We plan to keep the property 100 percent affordable. According to Rocklin Housing Coordinator Leslie Woodland, based on its population, Rocklin should have more than 2,000 affordable housing units. Although the city currently easily exceeds the minimum, Woodland said, We want to provide housing for all segments of the population. Rocklin Mayor Brett Storey agrees, adding that the housing element affects how the city is funded. We have to maintain a balance of low income to regular to keep getting state and federal funds, Storey said. Storey said helping a developer who wants to keep the apartments affordable is good for the entire neighborhood. You can't ask them to take huge losses on a property without offer low interest and tax-exempt financing, he said.