Construction will begin later this month on a 54-unit affordable apartment complex along a blighted stretch of Brentwood Boulevard after the city designated $3.95 million in local affordable housing funds to the project.
"Without the use of these funds, the project would die," said Kwame Reed, Brentwood's senior community development analyst.
The Grove at Sunset Court will add extremely low-, very low- and low-income housing to the city's existing affordable housing stock. It is located at the abandoned Perez Nursery site near Havenwood Avenue off Brentwood Boulevard at 201 Sunset Court.
City officials had planned to reserve the $3.95 million for the project from the former Redevelopment Agency's low and moderate housing fund before the state made drastic changes to redevelopment practices across California and also rejected the funding request for this project.
The Grove at Sunset Court's developer, Meta Housing, has already spent more than $3 million to acquire the property, and without the city's designated housing funds, city officials said that the project would remain undeveloped.
"These funds cannot be used for anything else," Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor said of the city's affordable housing money. "That piece of property is in terrible shape."
Brentwood Vice Mayor Steve Barr noted that the initial funding was always at risk with the state and the housing funds were always considered as a backup plan. The city has
"The state kicked (the funding request) back because they are trying to find as much cash as they can because they are broke," said Councilman Erick Stonebarger, who has opposed the housing project historically and was the sole vote against the city funding.
The project was awarded an additional $10.5 million from the state's Tax Credit Allocation Committee, money that comes from federal tax credits and is administered by the state, according to the developer. Reed said the city will continue to pursue the former Redevelopment Agency's housing funds for the Meta loan amount to refund the city's affordable housing in-lieu fund.
"We have a very valid argument to challenge the state's denial," Reed said.
Brentwood resident Carissa Pillow, who is running for City Council in November, expressed her opposition to the project at the June 12 council meeting.
"I'm absolutely against any subsidy from the city for affordable housing," she said. "Our market is already depressed."
City officials said the project has been in the planning stages for a few years and received overwhelming support from the surrounding neighborhood.
"It is a good project," Councilman Bob Brockman said. "This is one way to get some improvements on Brentwood Boulevard."
Reach staff writer Paula King at 925-779-7174 or email@example.com.