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Manteca housing in a tight squeeze

Loss of job means loss of home for many

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POSTED July 2, 2009 1:47 a.m.
Lisa Stallings has concerns about the Manteca housing market.

The local realtor for RE/Max continues to see people lose their jobs and subsequently their homes.

“It’s really difficult to place them in a rental because their credit is already destroyed (after losing their home),” said Stallings, who attended the City of Manteca’s second and final stakeholder workshop for the Housing Element Update held Wednesday afternoon in the Senior Center.

Rik Keller, a planning consultant for Mintier Harnish based out of Sacramento, and John Torrey of the Community Development Department, touched on the issue brought up by Stallings.

“Loss of job may mean loss of home,” Torrey said.

Manteca falls somewhere in the norm of San Joaquin County’s 15 percent unemployment rate, according to city officials.

“We may see those numbers increase,” said Stallings, citing the 200 teachers at Manteca Unified receiving pink slips.

She’s had the tough task of relocating families who foreclosed on their home.

“There’s very few three-bedroom homes for rent and the apartment situation is a tight squeeze,” Stallings said.

She had good intentions for attending the workshop.

“What we are going to do to help those who live here?” she said.”They may not be able to afford to stay in Manteca.”

The Housing Element Update is one of the seven mandated elements of the general plan, with the City obligated to provide affordable housing at existing and proposed sites. This also includes promoting affordable homes with regulatory incentives while removing constraints and providing the funds.

Manteca has several existing needs, according to Keller, from more rental units to affordable housing for seniors and families.

Among the solutions, as specified in the update, could come in the way of a proposed program for first-time home buyers, relying on a down-payment assistance program; housing rehabilitation matching grant program; and senior housing rehabilitation program.

The City, in addition, could look to work with visionary homebuilders and nonprofit groups.

A downtown development was also mentioned, with those living there being within walking distance to transit and other services.

The City has hopes of rehabilitating foreclosed homes, working with non-profits while educating homebuyers under this program.

The Community Development Department is made up of the Building Safety Division, Planning Division, and Redevelopment Agency.

The information on the public review of the draft will now go through the Planning Commission in the coming weeks, and the City Council later this month or early next month.

By the end of August, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, to make sure things are in compliance with state laws, could review the document during a 60-day process before the plans are sent back to City Council later in the fall.

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