Thousand Oaks selects developer to build affordable townhouses for sale

Thousand Oaks has chosen a developer to build 59 affordable townhouses for sale on the former site of the Hillcrest Christian School.

The city council on Tuesday evening chose the nonprofit People’s Self-Help Housing Corp. of San Luis Obispo to build the project, which will also include 19 townhouses for low-income households.

Sales prices are initially expected to range from around $275,000 to $600,000, Veronica Garcia, the developer‘s head of property development, told the board.

Unit prices will depend on their size and destination for low- or moderate-income households, City Manager Drew Powers said. Units will range from one to four bedrooms, he said.

In voting to select People’s Self-Help Housing, Councilman Al Adam said the project represents a “significant step up” from other affordable housing projects in the city, including 114 rental units approved last year, as it will offer the homes for sale.

“We are going to have the opportunity to provide affordable housing linked to home ownership in the city,” he said.

The city bought the roughly 4-acre site at 384 N. Erbes Road for $10 million last year expressly to build affordable housing there.

Council voted 4 to 1 to select People’s Self-Help Housing over three other developers who also submitted proposals to the city. These were JZ Design & Build, Pelican Communities and Thomas Safran & Associates Development.

Mayor Bob Engler and council members Al Adam, Claudia Bill-de la Peña and Ed Jones voted in favor, while Councilman Kevin McNamee dissented.

Engler said the project “will provide affordable housing for sale (which) is another missing piece of what we’re trying to accomplish here, providing housing at all income levels, especially housing for the workforce. of work”.

Adam said the “American dream” is to own your own home, noting that residents of Thousand Oaks “are very sensitive to the affordability issues we face here in the city.

“And now, for the very first time, there will be families here in Thousand Oaks who can achieve that American dream,” he said. “It’s really monumental.”

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Home prices in Thousand Oaks are among the most expensive in the state.

The average sale price for a residence in the city is around $900,000, Ken Trigueiro, CEO of People’s Self-Help Housing, said Friday.

Opposing the project, McNamee said the city’s purchase of the site with taxpayers’ money amounted to a “charitable organization” to benefit low-income people “who, in my opinion, have no not earned down payment, monthly payment, credit score, ongoing income to pay housing in this community.

He said he believed “in helping out, but not doing charity. It’s alms. Ownership isn’t a right. It’s a privilege.”

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Hillcrest Christian School had operated on the site since the mid-1970s.

Several years ago, the school moved to a new location in Thousand Oaks at 449 E. Wilbur Road.

The developer’s preliminary site plan includes 14 buildings with four to six attached townhouses per building. Units will include fully electric appliances, private two-car garages and private outdoor space.

Common areas will include walking paths, landscaped open space and guest parking.

Despite sale prices expected to start at around $275,000, the developer and city officials said low- and middle-income people should be able to afford the units.

“The idea is to get sales prices below market so that some people in town can take the next step in building personal equity in a property,” Engler said Friday.

Trigueiro said the project’s preliminary goal is to ensure that mortgages and associated costs do not exceed 35% of income for low-income households.

A single person can’t earn more than $70,250 a year to qualify for affordable housing, said retired Thousand Oaks assistant manager Gary Rogers.

A two-person household can earn a maximum of $80,300 per year to qualify, while a three-person household cannot earn more than $90,350 per year, he said.

Trigueiro said after the board meeting that he was eager to get the project off the ground.

“We do this for a living and we haven’t been able to do anything in Thousand Oaks before,” he said. “It may be the one and only opportunity we’ll have for some time here, and so, it’s quite unique and we’re totally excited.”

He said the next step would be for Powers to negotiate a deal with People’s Self-Help Housing to develop the site.

In 2011, the nonprofit restored the El Patio Hotel in Ventura for single room occupants and began construction of the People’s Place housing project in Santa Paula. Both are affordable rental projects.

The developer has other such projects in the works at Oxnard and Fillmore, Trigueiro said.

Mike Harris covers the county towns of Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as countywide transportation. You can contact him at or 805-437-0323.

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