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Two deserve credit for Ripon housing effort

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POSTED October 1, 2013 11:47 p.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin

Thanks so much for the column in the Saturday Bulletin  (“Rich man, poor man treated the same in Ripon neighborhoods” by Dennis Wyatt) discussing the Ripon’s affordable housing program. Your referral to one individual is absolutely correct and is probably the opinion of all 15,000 or so residents of Ripon. I think it is important to understand where and when the program began and who gets credit. As far as the history of the program, Leon Compton and Ernie Tyhurst began talking about how to encourage developers to include affordable units within their projects, along with other upgraded standards (i.e., 6-foot wide sidewalks, landscaped parkways, etc.) in 1993.

This was when they started looking at revising Ripon’s 1985 general plan, which was then launched with the adoption of the 1995 General Plan. The idea was to find a way for the developers to achieve their goal (reasonable profit) while still providing the community with a higher level of improvements. This included putting affordable units on corner lots which were designed and constructed comparable with the market rate units of the rest of the project. The result - affordable homes that blended in with the others, and driving down the street one could not pick the affordable units from the market rate units. 

They then went about creating the Gap Loan Program to assist first-time buyers, using Redevelopment Set aside Funds, in purchasing these units (170+ before the demise of Redevelopment). The people of Ripon and San Joaquin County owe many thanks to Ernie Tyhurst and Leon Compton for engineering this wonderful and well accepted housing program.


Mike Restuccia
Oct. 1, 2013

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