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15-year-old RDA success story
Cedar Glen helped 66 families become homeowners
The Cedar Glen neighborhood off Vasconcellos Avenue in East Manteca is a redevelopment success story. - photo by HIME ROMERO

It is a rarity in Manteca neighborhoods.

Every one of the homes is owner-occupied.

Foreclosures are virtually non-existent.

Not a single home has ever been flipped.

And none of the owners used their homes as ATMs.

It is also a Manteca Redevelopment Agency success story.

The neighborhood is the 66-home Cedar Glen subdivision built in the mid-1990s along Vasconcellos Avenue just north of Yosemite Avenue/East Highway 120 in East Manteca.

“Cedar Glenn was the city’s first moderate-income affordable housing effort,” noted Manteca Mayor Willie Weatherford.

The city teamed with Westvail Development to build the homes located along a series of loop streets. It involved $1 million in RDA funds. Some $500,000 was used to write down the land. The $500,000 divided by 66 translated into a $7,575 silent second deed of trust that was placed against all of the homes that goes away after the original owner had lived in the home for 15 years and kept all payments current. In addition, 44 Cedar Glen buyers along with four Golf Villas (on Union Road at Crom Street) buyers accessed $548,965 from the RDA first-time buyers down payment assistance program for low- to moderate-income households. The agency provided up to 75 percent of the 10 percent down payment to assist qualified applicants with the purchase of a home in one of the two neighborhoods.

Sixteen of the housing units were sold to those of low or very low income with the rest going to moderate-income buyers.

Everyone of the 66 buyers had been long-time Manteca renters who worked in Manteca or nearby. Although the minimum time of being a renter with good payment history and living in Manteca was two years, all of the buyers exceeded that requirement.

The city nine years ago in the middle of the housing boom refused to modify the rules after at least one homeowner asked that the city do so.

That meant none of the Cedar Glen homeowners could cash in on the huge equity gain. The council at the time rejected the request outright noting that it wasn’t just changing the rules but that the city never intended it as a way for someone of moderate or low income to flip the house for quick profits.

The homes over the years could be sold but it couldn’t be done unless someone qualified for the income guidelines. At the same time, the silent second was transferred to the new owner instead of benefiting the seller.

Now, most of the homes are either at or near the 15-year restriction.

The city has modeled its current first-time buyers assistance program for low to moderate income after the Cedar Glen program but the restriction was extended to 30 years.

A buyer under the current city program could sell their home but any equity that is realized beyond paying back the silent second has to be split with the city. That effectively takes away the incentive to sell simply to flip the home or to buy up.

As a result, the city has established a steady pool of owner-occupied housing for those of low to moderate income.

The money for the housing programs as well as other projects such as subsidized senior housing comes from the state-mandated 20 percent set aside of RDA funds that must be used for affordable housing efforts.