Fountain Valley to begin loan talks to help developer with affordable housing project

The city of Fountain Valley has agreed to consider partnering with a private developer that plans to build a low-income apartment complex.

The City Council voted 4-0 on Tuesday, with Councilwoman Cheryl Brothers absent, to begin loan negotiations with Tustin-based C&C Fountain Valley LLC, which is in escrow to buy two acres at 16790 Harbor Blvd., near Heil Avenue, as the possible site of its 60-unit project.

The city could loan C&C $125,000 to help it complete the purchase of the property. The city would not own or operate the complex.

If negotiations between the city and the developer succeed, C&C within 45 days must provide the city with more details such as proposed rents, number of parking spaces and conceptual architectural drawings.

The apartment complex would offer two- and three-bedroom units for people who meet the government definition of low income for Orange County. That’s $83,450 for a family of four, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

Under state law, the city must plan for a low-income housing supply.

Fountain Valley Housing Coordinator Brent Hoff said the Southern California Assn. of Governments instructs cities on how many total future housing units they need based on a complex algorithm that includes local need and what the government association considers “underutilized” parcels — which can be privately owned — that could accommodate housing projects. SCAG requires only that cities identify where such units could be built.

For Fountain Valley, the minimum is 358 units, to be identified by 2021. Of those, 142 must be for lower incomes.

“Since Fountain Valley is 98% built out, finding a place to build a 60-unit development is very difficult,” Hoff said. “The developer’s proposal would facilitate both the city and the housing authority’s goals toward increasing and improving and preserving the community’s supply of affordable housing.”

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The original version of this article stated incorrectly that the Southern California Assn. of Governments instructs cities on how many affordable housing units they need. In fact, it is for total future housing units.
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