Costa Mesa acquires Westside affordable-housing apartments


The city of Costa Mesa recently acquired 22 Westside apartments with the intent of keeping them for affordable housing.

The units, within three complexes on the 700 blocks of James and West 18th streets, had been managed by the Civic Center Barrio Housing Corp., a Santa Ana-based nonprofit.

Costa Mesa’s ties with Civic Center Barrio date to the early 1990s, when the City Council loaned the nonprofit money to purchase and development the complexes.

Over the years, Civic Center Barrio “repeatedly failed to fund capital improvement projects and meet its contractual and financial obligations to the city by repaying back the loans,” according to a news release from City Hall. “After several attempts to work with the housing corporation, the city was forced to put the properties in foreclosure.”

On Aug. 28, during an auction in Orange County Superior Court, the city issued a credit bid of about $2.38 million to acquire the complexes, where an estimated 80 people live.

The city will honor all existing leases and is working to retain a property manager for the apartments.

“We took this move to stabilize the property management of these units and ensure the security and safety of the residents,” Mayor Steve Mensinger said in a statement.

—Bradley Zint

Twitter: @bradleyzint