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Ground breaks Monday for 52 affordable housing units

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POSTED December 6, 2009 2:48 a.m.
Manteca is adding another 52 affordable housing units for low-income seniors.

Work on Magnolia Court is now underway on 1.4 acres tucked behind Dribble’s Car Wash and Burger King off North Main Street. Official groundbreaking ceremonies will take place Monday at 10:30 a.m.

When completed, it will bring the number of affordable housing units for seniors and others built since 2001 to 203 units. Altogether, Manteca will have 273 affordable housing units with another 110 in the works at Woodward Avenue and Airport Way.

“Manteca definitely needs more affordable housing,” noted Manteca Mayor Weatherford.

The 203 affordable housing units built in part with Manteca Redevelopment Agency funds on Weatherford’s watch as an elected council member and mayor includes 62 remodeled units on Wawona Avenue now known as Union Court Apartments.

The mayor noted that since Eden Housing partnered with the city to rehab Union Court Apartments it has not only eliminated crime in the complex but also put in place a computer lab to help tutor youngsters residing in the low-income apartment units.

Weatherford said partnering with non-profits is a wise move as it assures that complexes are kept in top shape.

“Their (the non-profits) aim are not to make a profit,” Weatherford said. “They put their efforts back into the complexes.”

Weatherford said projects such as Magnolia Court are sorely needed. The mayor noted they are designed to serve the extremely low-income senior citizens who are essentially surviving on Social Security and can barely make rent payments at market rents let alone pay for other living expenses. Subsidized apartments such as the ones being built at Magnolia Court restrict payments to qualified residents to 30 percent of their income.

The Magnolia Court complex is being built by Affirmed Housing Group.

It will consist of studios as well as one and two-bedroom apartments. Onsite amenities include a recreation room, onsite management office, laundry facilities, an outdoor garden area, and owner-provided high-speed internet in each unit. A solar water heating system will supplement two ultra-high efficiency hot water heaters providing solar heated hot water for the entire development, and a photovoltaic system will supply electricity for the common areas.

Magnolia Court is located within walking distance of grocery stores, retail, restaurants, medical offices, entertainment and the Manteca Library.

Architecturally similar to a geode, the exterior of this development was designed to integrate seamlessly with the existing neighborhood and gracefully compliment the surrounding properties. The courtyards provide community gathering areas with outdoor barbecues, quiet areas of respite, and an interactive gardening area for resident’s enjoyment. On the outside, the street front includes unit entries and private porches similar to those of neighboring single family residences. A unique feature of this development is an underground storm water retention system designed to retain and regulate discharge of storm water runoff from surrounding properties. The site was previously an unimproved lot with an open retention basin serving the immediately surrounding properties, and while it served an important purpose its vacant state Weatherford noted it also created blight in the neighborhood

The underground storm water retention system at Magnolia Court is a creative engineering solution that facilitated the development of much needed affordable housing serving Manteca’s aging Baby Boomers.

Funding sources for Magnolia Court include US Bank, City of Manteca Redevelopment Agency, the California tax credit allocation committee (CTCAC) and California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Studio E Architects designed the community, BOGC Inc. is the general contractor and DeLorenzo Incorporated the landscape architect.
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