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March 5, 2008 > Voter cash goes to new housing

Voter cash goes to new housing

By Dustin Findley
Photos By Shari Wargo

The California voters get what they vote (and pay) for. California voters approved Proposition 1C (Prop 1C), the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006, and Proposition 46 (Prop 46), the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2002, and now the money from Prop 1C and Prop 46 are making their way into housing developments all over the state.

California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Director Lynn Jacobs handed out large checks of money from Props 1C and 46 to organizations, cities, and counties at Mission Gateway in Union City on Thursday, Feb.28.

Mission Gateway opened in 2006 and provides housing for families who would otherwise not be able to afford such, sometimes any, housing (seen Tri-City Voice May 2, 2006). With this type of housing "We have the privilege of seeing people's lives really improve," Jacobs told the ceremony audience.

Jacobs commented that Mission Gateway is a prime example of the kinds of communities that will be built with the funds from the propositions. "We really want to thank the voters of California for voting for these bond measures because they're the ones that give us the resources," she said.

According to Jacobs, housing is important because "California is currently about two million housing units short for its existing population... We still don't have enough places for people to live. So state financing is a major source of funding especially for housing for people who make below the median income."

The funds from Prop 1C will go to a variety of housing: "From emergency shelters for the homeless to housing for people with special needs, with physical disabilities, or substance abuse problems, or health problems, to housing for seniors, housing for veterans, housing for families, and housing for single individuals, both ownership and rental."

Prop 1C will last until 2010. All the money will disbursed throughout the state, and then HCD, and California, will need another source for funding affordable housing.

Mary Elliot lives in Mission Gateway. She moved there in 2006 when it first opened.
She said that where Mission Gateway now resides used to be a trailer park and a really bad area in Union City, but it is now a lot safer.

Elliot said it is really hard being a single parent trying to raise her kids, and not being able to afford housing. She wanted her family to be able to have some space. She called the City of Union City and asked what they could do for her.

They told her that Mission Gateway was coming soon. So she applied, and was entered into a lottery, and she won. She was so happy that when she arrived at Mission Gateway it felt like a "gift from up above."

Elliot said that she thinks Union City needs more apartments and more communities like Mission Gateway because she knows people who can not afford a place on their own and so large families have to share an apartment, and if they wanted more space would have to move out of the Union City area and further away from each other and the rest of their family.

She added that housing is needed, especially in Union City, because a lot of people simply cannot afford it. Elliot went to the ceremony to see where her tax money is going, and she's glad that housing programs are receiving money because more housing is needed, and the programs helped her out very much.

Each city has its own requirements for getting into affordable housing. The best thing to do is contact the city's housing department and they will point out all the projects coming up in the area.

It's even in the HCD name: Their goal is not merely to build houses or even homes. They want to build communities.

The San Francisco Bay Area region received $34, 057,949 and 628 homes in Prop 1C awards. The total Proposition 1C awards were $120, 251,782 and 2,367 homes all throughout California.

For a complete list of all the winners of Prop 1C and 46, please visit www.hcd.ca.gov and click on Proposition 46 and 1C Awards.

If California needs two million homes, and it costs $120, 251,782 to build 2,367 homes, then it will cost around $101,606,913,400 to build the two million. It also takes around three to seven years to develop each housing project.


For information about Prop 1C and 46, please visit:
http://www.smartvoter.org/2006/11/07/ca/state/prop/1C/
http://www.smartvoter.org/2002/11/05/ca/state/prop/46/

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