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Homeless — where your money goes Part V: The high costs of extravagant cruelty

in Community/News/People

As California politicians declare their commitment to dealing with homelessness, they should also acknowledge that it originates in the state’s chronic shortage of housing that shows no signs of abating. Dan Walters, 23 January, 2023

According to Lauren Lowry, Director for Housing and Community Development at the National League of Cities, “chronic homelessness costs the public roughly $30,000 to $50,000 per unhoused individual each year.”

Continue reading on The Valley Citizen

Stanislaus is getting housing for homeless people struggling with mental illness

in Community/Government/News

Stanislaus County supervisors approved a funding agreement Tuesday to provide 38 permanent supportive housing units for people struggling with mental illness, substance use and homelessness.

The project, estimated at $10.8 million, is inspired by the “Housing First” concept that stable housing is essential before people can be treated effectively for mental illness or substance use disorder.

Continue reading on Modesto Bee

Health insurance can now help some Californians find housing

in Health/Housing

Thanks to an experimental new program aimed at easing the state’s profound homelessness crisis, some Californians now can get housing help from an unlikely source: their health insurance plans.

With the launch this year of CalAIM, California is reimagining medical coverage by marrying healthcare and housing statewide for the first time. Under the new approach, certain high-risk and low-income Medi-Cal recipients can use their insurance plans for more than doctor’s visits and hospital stays — they can get help finding affordable or subsidized housing, cash for housing deposits, help preventing an eviction and more.

Proponents say the program acknowledges what doctors and social workers have known for years — it’s incredibly difficult to keep people healthy if they’re living on the streets or at risk of losing their home.

Continue Reading on Silicon Valley

Some Californians look to pod living in shared home as affordable housing option

in Housing

14 people living in one 3-bedroom house -- it’s part of a new concept to make housing affordable in California.

Rent for a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house in Palo Alto would normally run up to $8,000 per month.

Residents here are paying $800 monthly while they share amenities and sleep in pods.

Continue Reading on KSHB

State awards Modesto $3.9M grant to create apartments for homeless young people

in Community/Housing

California has awarded Modesto $3.9 million to purchase and convert a downtown office building into a 14-unit apartment complex for young people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office issued a news release Wednesday announcing the award, as well as awards for nine other projects across the state, including $24 million to Merced to purchase and convert a motel into 96 studio apartments.

The awards are part of Project Homekey, a state initiative. It provides grants to local governments to purchase and convert hotels, motels, vacant buildings and other properties into permanent housing with services.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus Co. eyes plans ten years ahead on housing, jobs

in Community/Economy/Housing/Job

As California slowly exits the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanislaus County is targeting collaboration with its nine incorporated cities to address long-term economic development, job creation and the housing crisis. 

Jody Hayes, the Chief Executive Officer for Stanislaus County, continued his campaign to each of the county’s city councils Tuesday night as he addressed the Turlock City Council about developing strategies for job creation and housing. 

“Basic concept that every member of our community can work a normal occupation in Stanislaus County and afford to live in a safe neighborhood,” Hayes said. “That’s what it really all comes down to. That’s the fabric of any great community, and that’s what we’re trying to make sure that we lend our support to and working collaboratively with everyone we can here in our community.” 

Continue Reading on The San Joaquin Valley Sun

Council approves subdivision despite of community disapproval

in Government

After hearing about traffic concerns from residents of the surrounding neighborhood, the Turlock City Council last week gave final approval for a new housing development which will bring 50 new homes to town. 

After approval from the Planning Commission in September, the Balisha Ranch subdivision came before the City Council in November for approval of a rezone for the 17.4-acre property at 2930 E. Tuolumne Rd. Council considered a rezone which would take the property from a Residential Estate zoning to a Planned Development, allowing for various deviations from the Very Low-Density Residential development standards in the East Tuolumne Master Plan. 

While the subdivision meets the density requirements for Very Low-Density Residential standards at 2.8 units per acre, exceptions to the 14,500 square foot minimum lot size were proposed as part of the plan with lots ranging from 7,500 square feet to 12,000 square feet along with other deviations. 

The Balisha Ranch subdivision is one of three new housing developments near Tuolumne Road, with the Le Chateaux by KB Homes and Fairbanks Ranch subdivisions under construction across the street from the project site.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Plans for gated community submitted to City

in People

First-time home buyers may have more options come next year as one local developer is once again looking to build homes in Turlock. 

Florsheim Homes has developed housing communities in towns like Oakdale, Hughson, Modesto and Turlock, where they most recently completed Rose Verde — a 107-home subdivision near Monte Vista Crossings which saw its final home sold in August 2020. The Turlock City Council first approved Rose Verde, called Monte Verde at the time, in April 2014, though construction on the homes didn’t begin until early 2018. 

Now, Florsheim is seeking approval from the Planning Commission for a 178-home gated community located at 1137, 1201 and 1233 5th St. in Turlock. According to Florsheim President Randy Bling, there is a need for housing as demand rises despite the pandemic.

“The housing market, even in spite of COVID, ended up doing well. People realized homes are a nice thing to have. If we’re going to be stuck with our families, we might as well have a nice place to live that fits your lifestyle,” Bling said. “A home has always been a great investment, not just something to live in, and it’s even more so during these times.”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

A California housing crisis mystery: Rents are way up this decade, but eviction filings are way down

in Local Roundup

Shirley Gibson isn’t quite sure how to feel about these numbers.

As directing attorney of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County — which offers legal services to low-income tenants caught between the preposterously priced southern suburbs of San Francisco and the preposterously priced suburbs of Silicon Valley — she’s seen firsthand how California’s housing affordability crisis has overwhelmed her clientele.

Rents in San Mateo County have increased nearly 55% since the start of the decade. A two-bedroom in Redwood City, the county seat, now goes for $3,500, according to data from Apartment List. Strong demand, fueled by the influx of high-income tech workers, means vacancy rates are low.

“I don’t know what a normal housing market is anymore,” said Gibson. “There’s a tush for every seat right now. You can rent any unit you want within a week.”

Continue Reading on Mercury News

Second phase of affordable housing project gets underway in Turlock

in Local Roundup

The effort to ease the shortage of affordable housing in Turlock took a small step forward recently when officials broke ground on the second phase of Avena Bella.

EAH Housing, an affordable housing nonprofit organization, has begun working on the second phase of the Avena Bella development in Turlock. Located at 500 W. Linwood Avenue, Avena Bella II is a 60-unit expansion of the 80-unit Avena Bella I, completed in 2014.

The two-story Mediterranean style apartment buildings will provide 60 new 1-,2-, and 3- bedroom rental apartments for housing for people whose income is below or at 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income. It will share amenities with Avena Bella I, such as a resident community room with a kitchen, computer lab, pool, BBQ and recreation areas, children’s playground, among other features. It will also be environmentally friendly and will have a solar thermal water heating system and solar panels to reduce the development’s carbon footprint.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

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