From Napa Valley Register: Affordable apartments for 50 Napa families to begin construction

April 28, Kevin Courtney

In a new south Napa neighborhood where car dealerships, stores and market rate apartments will soon be sprouting, so too will a 50-unit apartment project for low-income families.

A ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday marked the start of construction of Stoddard West apartments on Gasser Foundation land behind South Napa Marketplace.

The $24 million project, a partnership between Gasser Foundation and Burbank Housing of Sonoma County, should be ready to accept its first families by July 2019, said Larry Florin, Burbank’s CEO.

Considering that last October’s wildfires destroyed more than 7,000 homes in the North Bay, this 50-unit project is only a small piece of what’s needed regionally to house workers, Florin said in an interview.

“You can say everything helps,” Florin said. For the 50 families that will soon be paying affordable rents to live at Stoddard West, this project could be a life-changer, he said.

Burbank Housing will do “targeted marketing” this summer to try to recruit people who already live or work in Napa and need a housing helping hand, he said.

The federal government, which is providing tax credits worth $10 million, requires that a project accept applications from everyone regardless of where they live, Florin said.

Targeted marketing helps to give locals a “first shot,” he said.

Units will be set aside for families earning no more than 30 percent, 50 percent or 60 percent of Napa County’s median family income. For a family of four, the 30 percent limit is $32,000, for the 50 percent limit, $52,000, and for the 60 percent limit, no more than $55,000.

Rents for families in the 30 percent category, depending on number of bedrooms, will range from $479 to $635 a month; for 50 percent, from $829 to $1,119; for 60 percent, from $1,003 to $1,361.

Stoddard West will have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with eight apartments receiving Section 8 rent subsidy vouchers from the city of Napa’s Housing Authority. One unit is designated for persons who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, Florin said.

Burbank Housing has two other Napa projects in the works. The housing non-profit will begin building 34 ownership units at 2033 Redwood Rd. in northwest Napa this year. A development of 77 one-bedroom apartments and single-room occupancy units will undergo environmental review this year for 3700 Valle Verde Drive in north Napa.

In addition to federal tax credits, Stoddard West received funds from Napa County and the city of Napa, with financial support from the Gasser Foundation, Tipping Point Community, Louis and Evalyn Trinchero, Napa Valley Community Foundation and Napa Valley Vintners helping to cover a spike in building costs due to last October’s fires, sponsors said.

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