The city will build 10 single-family homes in the first phase of a program to provide more affordable housing in Hawaiian Gardens and to eliminate blighted areas.
Starting in late April or early May, six three-bedroom homes and four four-bedroom homes will be built and sold at prices ranging from $140,000 to $160,000, City Administrator Nelson Oliva said.
The homes, to be built with five different floor plans, will be offered for sale as soon as soon as construction begins. Officials estimated that construction will take five months.
The City Council, sitting as the Redevelopment Agency, approved construction of the homes on lots purchased by the agency over the past year and a half. Old, run-down buildings are being demolished on some of the lots.
Under the program, Hawaiian Gardens hopes to build 35 to 40 homes in 18 months.
The city will also provide loans of up to $20,000 to help low- and moderate-income home buyers make down payments. All units must be owner-occupied and be insured by the purchaser. Applicants for homes will be chosen by lottery.
Instead of following the normal procedure of selling property to developers, the Redevelopment Agency is acting as its own developer to design, construct and sell homes.
Don Schultze, a contractor who served two terms on the City Council, has been hired to handle day-to-day operations of the program, including obtaining construction bids and inspecting work by contractors and subcontractors. He is being paid $3,200 a month.
Oliva said Schultze was one of 10 applicants for housing project coordinator but was the only applicant from the city. “He’s familiar with the city, is familiar with local building and safety procedures, and knows local contractors and subcontractors,” Oliva said.
Officials said they hope Hawaiian Gardens contractors and workers will handle most of the work.
In addition to building housing on its own, the Redevelopment Agency is offering financial help to private builders who sell 51% of their developments to low- and moderate-income buyers at prices between $140,000 and $160,000.
The city will provide low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for land purchases, return up to $5,000 of pre-construction costs and waive as much as $2,000 in fees for permits and inspections.