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Completion of Low-Income Housing Project Uncertain

The low-income housing project's developer seeks tax credits but, so far, it came up empty handed.

An embattled low-income housing project stands incomplete, and its fate looks uncertain.

Bridge Housing Corp., the company in charge of building the incomplete Summerhouse condominium project, has been seeking tax credit financing to finish the job.

So far, they've come up empty-handed.

Only 20 of the 90 planned units were built, leaving the city in a bad situation.
The law requires Temecula to provide a certain number of low-income housing units, and city officials expected those units to fill part of its quota.

"Staff is currently analyzing the situation as to what the next steps will be," said Patrick Richardson, the city's director of . "It's our goal to see the project completed as planned."

Homes under fire

The complex went under construction in 2008 as a condominium complex for senior citizens.

Then, the economy tanked, the property went into foreclosure and construction ground to a halt.

Bridge bought the property from a bank and redesigned the complex as a low-income housing project.

The new plan caused a backlash in the community. Residents picketed the complex and railed against it at a decisive meeting.

Opponents said the complex would be a magnet for undesirables and cause a spike in the crime rate.

City officials responded by saying Temecula's legally obligated to provide affordable housing and already has several similar projects.

The council approved it after an 8-hour meeting -- the second-longest meeting in its history next to the meeting about a planned mosque.

The city also agreed to dedicate $8.4 million in to the project.

Susan Marsh October 20, 2011 at 02:55 PM
I understand some people's concerns about low income housing being a "magnet for undesirables and causes a spike in the crime rate". A lot of times the low income housing goes to people who are not from our area and do not have ties to our community. Is there a way to make low income housing available to those with a tie to the community. People that have lived in the area are part of the community. A mixture of seniors and young people would be excellent. They could learn from each other and help each other out. Low income housing does not have to attract thrash and become blight. Who sets the criteria for those that receive housing? How can that criteria be changed/updated to fit our community? Can we ask people that are receiving special housing rates to give back to the community or move on? Just a thought.....
Temecula resident October 20, 2011 at 02:57 PM
People seriously... Just because someone is unemployed or has had a few hard knocks does not mean that they are the bottom feeders of society. It does not mean that they are gang bangers, drug addicts, bank robbers, or other loathsome persons in society. They may just need a leg up a bit of help getting back on their feet. Were is the compassion people?
Susan Marsh October 20, 2011 at 03:07 PM
I agree with Temecula resident, it is not necessarily true that they "are the bottom feeders of society". However, people have seen from experience that often people qualifying for low income housing are coming here from other areas and are not the most stellar of characters. I know a very nice senior couple on a fixed income who have tried repeatedly to qualify for low income housing in our area. They have been pasted over and the apartments have gone to people living on public assistance from other communities. This couple has lived in the community for more than 15 years and been active and volunteered in the community. Let's take care of our own first. Also, people given something for nothing often do not appreciate what they are given; ask them to give back. Why is that too much to ask? Pay it forward.
Jerry Simeon October 20, 2011 at 03:12 PM
Are we going anywhere for the next decade?? What's the rush?? Many projects are done in stages to analyze the results, etc. over time. What is the extreme emergency here? Do we need this at all if the community is against it? A huge chunk of our Redevelopment money is gone. So now what... we will be pillaged even more?....... Finish the HOSPITAL project.
Jeff Herrington October 20, 2011 at 03:23 PM
As a neighbor of the Summerhouse project. I think it's been a nonissue. The buildings and entrance to the community are attractive and in keeping with the area standards. I don't see where crime is any more prevalent there than in my Paloma del Sol neighborhood. As long as the community is maintained and prospective residents are screened properly, I would like to see construction proceed to build out and see it as an integral part of our community, instead of a "work in progress". With it's proximity to the upcoming hospital and medical centers, I know it would be an ideal draw for the area's Senior Citizens.
TVOR October 20, 2011 at 04:34 PM
There are strict standards for who can live at summerhouse. They must be employed and have a clean record. They pay rent at rates comparable to other rentals in the area but it is subsidized by whatever agency oversees it (HUD?) This type of housing is good for the city as it allows those who have lost their homes to remain in and continue to contribute to our community. You will not see parolees or welfare recipiants living there.
Ognir Rattsa October 20, 2011 at 06:40 PM
From reading the article, it sounds like the whole project is in jeopardy due to Bridge Housing not being able to secure funds to complete the project. The City appears reluctant to dole out any more funds to complete this project. My personal opinion for what it is worth, I have lived in that area for nearly 16 years and any business, private residence et al. has not been successful on that stretch of Margarita Road. Maybe the land itself is just cursed if you believe in that sort of thing. The site would be appeopriate for a Ronald MacDonald House to compliment the hospital when it is built. Just a suggestion....
Michele Clark Powell October 20, 2011 at 06:50 PM
If you want to worry about the "riff-raff", worry about who the HOME OWNERS have started renting to.... there is your higher crime and drug dens. There are your people to picket against. I have been here 15 years and this is still the most delusional community where low-income and it's youth issues are concerned. The neighborhoods have gone to pot (or meth, depending on the street) because the owners are renting to the wrong people. Period.
FatJoe October 20, 2011 at 11:22 PM
This is great news, who needs these people who don't work and don't have jobs? Can you believe in this economy people are looking for hand outs? I bust my a$$ and can't hardly make it as it is because I gotta pay spousal and child support to a person who refuses to get a job. People need to get jobs and stop being lazy and counting on other people to pull their weight. Get a Job!
echoes October 21, 2011 at 12:18 AM
I used to live in affordable rent apartments in oldtown (the nice but simple ones off 5th; not the ghetto ones on Pujol St.) and there were no seedy people in the building. Not all affordable rent apartment/houses draws low-life people, not if they screen well. It was mostly seniors & young singles in the building.
Popeye October 21, 2011 at 03:44 AM
Hopefully they rent to GOP conservative christians that do not discriminate against races. Also do not rent to KKK Teaparty members.
gordon October 21, 2011 at 02:31 PM
here's what i see as the bottom line. bridge has fleeced the council out of $8 million and will soon walk. the council, with egg on it face, will foot the remainder of the bill to get it completed then sell it at a loss to someone who makes the same promises that bridge made, to bring in the best-of-the-best of low income families. good luck. once again, proof positive that this city council has never seen an idea that it didn't want to throw taxpayer money at. i like ognir's idea. let the city take it back and sell it to mcdonalds before dumping any more of our money into the project.
Penny October 21, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Know the facts people before making rash decision on a this issue it's for those in our community who have lost their jobs & homes through the recession & put your self in their place on what you would do if this happened to you.. Would you say negative things about yourself???
5150 October 23, 2011 at 02:44 PM
when Jesus went to the cross it wasnt for the "best " worse people , it was for all , you people that are whinning snobs need to pull your heads out of your A.. and stop being selfish, you could be a" bottom feeder"? someday, so shut your pie holes and lets get this project going and see what gives.
temeculan October 23, 2011 at 03:57 PM
Popeye - I'm quite sure that half of your brain was sucked out by aliens or turned to mush by alcohol or drugs. KKK Tea Party? Have you been to a Tea Party meeting? Your ignorance can be corrected if you would simply do a little research but I'm afraid your mean-spirited bias is baked into your brain by failure and dissapointment. Hopefully, there are people to attend to your needs.
Popeye October 23, 2011 at 04:50 PM
See, GOP needs to get rid of these bottom feeders. All they promote is hate with uneducated commits. I truly believe these people have not even graduated high school because they cry about illegals taking away their jobs. Recommend you, "John"go back to school so you can get a job and not be threatened.
deisy huerta June 28, 2012 at 08:45 PM
how can apply in order for me to live in one of them?

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