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Manteca looks at affordable housing options

Manteca is revisiting ways to jumpstart affordable housing construction — an issue last broached 12 years ago before elected leaders decided it was no longer an issue due to the housing market collapse.

Community Development Director Greg Showerman told the City Council last week staff has started work on following up on the council’s request to again examine affordable housing strategies that elected leaders can consider for possible implementation.

Municipal staff is contacting cities that have had some success with affordable housing efforts including Ripon and Elk Grove. They are also consulting the Building Industry of the Delta that represents home builders.

Mayor Ben Cantu — who has been the most vocal about the need for an affording housing strategy in Manteca that can be implemented and produce results — made it clear his idea of affordable housing wasn’t developers “building a seven bedroom home on a 5,000-square-foot lot.

“That’s not affordable,” Cantu said.

The mayor said there needs to be smaller homes and higher density development to provide less expensive housing.

That said when one developer — Richland Communities suggested doing just that less than two years ago — the Manteca City Council rejected their project planned for the site of the Hat Mansion on Pillsbury Road southeast of Woodward Park after neighbors of the project objected to smaller homes contending they would drive down the value of their properties, increase traffic and result in more rentals, inferring it would introduce unwanted elements into the neighborhood. 

While virtually all new subdivision projects in Manteca boast lots that are 6,000 square feet or more with most averaging 7,200 feet with a liberal sprinkling of lots between 9,000 and 12,000 square feet, not a single lot in the proposed Richland plan exceeded 5,850 square feet. Most of the housing planned was under 2,000 square feet,

A breakdown of the 184-acre project that was envisioned had:

158 lots would be 65 by 90 feet for a lot size of 5,850 square feet.

224 lots would be 55 by 90 feet for a lot size of 4,950 square feet.

242 lots would be 47 by 90 feet for a lot size of 4,330 square feet.

106 lots would be 35 by 80 feet for a lot size of 2,800 square feet. They would have alley access for garages and would likely be similar to projects in Oakdale and elsewhere that use concrete instead of asphalt for alleys and have landscaping.

300 plus or minus townhouse units on 25.8 acres for a density of 11.6 units per acre.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email