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Ripon wants county to takeover affordable housing

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POSTED February 22, 2012 12:49 a.m.

RIPON – Affordable housing was once part of the City of Ripon’s Redevelopment Agency.

But the RDA was officially disbanded earlier this month, leaving affordable housing in a state of limbo.

“The San Joaquin County Housing Authority still hasn’t voted to take over the affordable housing projects in Ripon,” said planning director Ken Zuidervaart during staff reports at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Redevelopment was once the most effective way to breathe new life into deteriorated areas while providing affordable homes in cities and towns throughout the state.

But earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown put an end to RDAs, in turn, taking billions of dollars out of city coffers and sending it instead to school districts, counties and the state.

The move is projected to save the state $1.7 billion in the next fiscal year.

The Council, meanwhile, voted several months earlier to create a “successor agency” to the redevelopment agency for projects such as the expansion at the Mistlin Sports Complex. Included was the recently approved $3.3 million in bond revenue for the baseball / softball fields.

Affordable housing, however, was not part of the successor agency.

Instead, elected leaders hoped that the SJC Housing Authority would vote to take over the Ripon projects.

“That’s still in a state of limbo,” Zuidervaart said.

He added that the state department of Housing and Community Development might offer another option.

An update on this matter will be brought before the Council at an upcoming meeting.

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