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County approves loan for affordable housing

May 17, 2002

Barbara Diamond

The Orange County Board of Supervisors on May 7 approved $667,001 loan

commitment to Related Companies of California for construction of a

30-unit affordable housing project at 450 Glenneyre St.

Supervisor Tom Wilson said the commitment proved that "impossible"

projects can succeed with city, county and private sector cooperation.

Additional funding will be needed.

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"The whole ball of wax is getting an allocation from the state of

low-income housing tax credits," said William Witte, a partner in Related

Cos. "It is a twice-yearly competitive process and we should know if we

are successful by August."

Witte is confident enough that his company will get the needed funds

that he has already filed an application with the city and paid about

$10,000 in fees.

"The staff has reviewed the application and returned it with some

corrections and questions, which is standard," said Community Services

Director Pat Barry. "The environmental review is underway."

Information about the project's effect on the environment, which is

expected to be negligible, likely will be posted May 23.

Planning Commission meetings are scheduled for June 12 and 26. City

Council consideration of the project is set for July 9.

"That assumes there are no bumps in the road," Barry said.

Related Companies of California was chosen by the council from bids

submitted to the city for the affordable housing project.

The council in September 2001 approved a lease term of $1 per year for

55 years for the 30-unit project, with one parking space per unit.

The company submitted a bid only because partner Witte is a resident

of Laguna.

"It is smaller than our company usually gets involved with," he said.

A building of possibly 15,800-square-feet could be built on the

21,090-square-foot lot, according to a staff report from December 2000.

It is across the street from the Glenneyre Street parking structure.

The city purchased the property for about $700,000, appropriated from

the Housing in Lieu Fund, much of it from the developers of Treasure

Island.

Developers pay into the fund in lieu of including affordable housing

in their projects.

If an affordable housing project were not built on the property, the

city would be obliged to restore the purchase price to the in-lieu fund.

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