outstanding efforts to build affordable homes.
"We've been working with the city for the last 10 years," said Allen
Baldwin, the agency's executive director, who presented the city award
during the Oct. 2 meeting. "And as we looked around the county, we found
that Huntington Beach has been doing as much as anyone, and more, to
provide affordable housing in the community."
According to federal guidelines, a family of four that makes no more
than $34,000 in annual income falls in the low-income bracket, city
Over the last few years, the city has targeted specific groups of
residents, such as seniors on fixed incomes and young families looking
for their first home, for affordable housing projects, said David Biggs,
the city's economic development director.
"As a city, it's important to provide for a well-balanced community,
and one of the key components of that is affordable housing," he added.
City planning officials have even rejected development plans and
zoning changes because of conflicts they posed to affordable-housing
efforts. Three projects are in the planning stages to build homes with
low- and fixed-income residents in mind.
Planners figure about 2,015 units of affordable housing will be needed
in Huntington Beach by 2005, said Rosemary Medel, an associate planner
for the city. A unit can be an apartment, a condominium or a
Every five years, the city is required to study its residential
development needs, which includes affordable housing, she added.
The Orange County Community Housing Corp.'s praise stems from city
partnership programs, such as Project Self-Sufficiency, which provides
housing for single parents and lower cost homes for senior citizens.
"We've been especially impressed with the city's work in the Oak View
neighborhood," Baldwin said, saying the largely Latino community includes
not only affordable housing for families, but a neighborhood school,
library and community center. "Perhaps Oak View should become a lesson
for us in the future, showing the importance of not only housing, but of
community and education as well."