June 22, 2008

New apartments to help low-income families

They were costly to build, but 20 new northeast Modesto apartments will be affordable to rent.

The just-completed Village One Town Center cost about $7.2 million, which works out to about $360,000 per apartment. Most of the two- and three-bedroom units will be rented to low-income families for $564 to $846 per month.

That's significantly below what most Modesto apartment complexes charge, and the price break is badly needed by many families, said Bill Fagan, who heads the Housing Authority of Stanislaus County.

"There are many families here who spend 50 percent of their income on housing," said Fagan, whose nonprofit public corporation owns about 1,500 houses and apartment units, plus arranges Section 8 housing subsidies for 4,000 additional rentals. "We have waiting lists for everything we own."

A publicly subsidized rental housing complex had been planned for more than a decade in Modesto's Village I master-planned community. The new apartments were financed with federal, city and housing authority funds, plus a bank mortgage of about $1.5 million.

Envision Homes of Atwater built the apartments on 1.5 acres near Belharbour Drive and Roselle Avenue, at 2013 Bellingham Way. It's adjacent to the Village One Plaza shopping center.

Families started moving last week, but not all the apartments have been rented. Fagan said applications are being accepted and the selection process is pretty restrictive.

Only low-income families who are legal U.S. residents and can pass credit, criminal background and rental history reference checks are eligible.

Four of the apartments will be rented to families earning less than half of Stanislaus County's median income. For a family of four, that would mean $28,250 or less per year. Those families will pay $564 per month for a two-bedroom unit and $652 for a three-bedroom unit.

Fifteen of the apartments will be rented to families earning 65 percent or less of the median, which would be $36,725 or less for a family of four. Those families would pay $740 per month for two bedrooms and $846 for three bedrooms.

One three-bedroom unit will be rented to a family earning 80 percent of the median, which is $45,200 for a family of four. The rent will be $1,014.

The complex has 10 two-bedroom units, each with 930 square feet. The 10 three-bedroom units each have 1,150 square feet.

There will be an invitation-only grand opening at the project July 10.

Those interested in applying to live there should call the Housing Authority of Stanislaus County at 557-2047.

Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at jnsbranti@modbee.com or 578-2196.

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