Ground Broken for Housing Development

Promising a part of the American dream to first-time home buyers, City Councilman Richard Alarcon and housing developers broke ground Wednesday for a low-cost housing project.

Construction of 28 two-story homes on 2 1/2 acres at the southwest corner of Tupper Street and Tobias Avenue will begin almost immediately, said Robert Vinson, who with partner Michael Mekeel proposed the development.

"I think that this project is going to be a model for the city of Los Angeles as well as the nation as to how affordable housing can look nice and fit into a neighborhood," Alarcon said. "Single-family detached housing, more than anything, is part and parcel of the American dream."

The four-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, cottage-style homes will be available for first-time buyers for between $100,000 and $150,000, Vinson said. The first 14 houses in Tupper Tobias Village should be available by fall.

"The idea here is to move families out of cramped apartments and into single-family homes," Vinson said. "The key thing is affordability and dignity."

The development, planned in an area that is now mostly neck-high brush, will also include a Head Start day-care facility for preschool children.

The developers said it took them about four years of negotiations with Alarcon and the Latin American Civic Assn. before receiving City Council approval last month. Vinson said the council voted to give up to $45,000 per family, depending on the family's income.

Freddie Mac, a secondary mortgage market, will make available no-money-down mortgages for qualified borrowers.

"This is somewhat like a dream," said Ruben Padilla, chairman of LACA's Board of Directors. "It will give the people of this community dignity and respect."

For more information on how to purchase a home in Tupper Tobias Village, call (818) 999-9479.

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