$20 million recommended for affordable housing project

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The Arrowhead Grove affordable housing development and community revitalization project in San Bernardino on Monday was named among an elite group of California projects – the only one in the Inland Empire – to be eligible for funding through the state’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program.

The $20 million recommended for the two future phases of Arrowhead Grove, formerly known as the Waterman Gardens Public Housing Site, is the largest award under consideration and would account for a sizable portion of the $75 million needed to construct the 184-unit development east of North Waterman Avenue and south of East Baseline Street. Only 19 of the 53 proposals submitted statewide were recommended for funding.

“There is an acute need for affordable housing in San Bernardino County,” said Supervisor Josie Gonzales, whose Fifth District includes Arrowhead Grove. “We owe a great deal of thanks to our legislative delegation, the Housing Authority of San Bernardino County, other county agencies, and our partners with National Community Renaissance and the City of San Bernardino for the hard work they put into bringing us closer to receiving this vital funding source.”

Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood agreed. “It is vital partnerships like these that open a door of opportunity to meet needs within our county,” Chairman Lovingood said.

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Arrowhead Grove will include 147 affordable housing units and 36 available at market rates, along with needed pedestrian and transit improvements that will benefit the community at large.

The Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, or AHSC, administered by the state Strategic Growth Council, uses proceeds from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to provide grants and loans for capital development projects, including affordable housing development and transportation improvements, that encourage walking, bicycling, and transit use resulting in fewer passenger vehicle miles travelled.

The county was notified on Monday that the June 28 meeting of the Strategic Growth Council will include a staff recommendation to approve $20 million in AHSC funding for the two future phases of Arrowhead Grove.

“This was a collaborative effort with so many partners,” said Housing Authority of San Bernardino County Director Maria Razo. “We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to effectively invest and leverage our dollars to achieve the vision of affordable housing and active transportation options that improve economic, health and well-being of the residents who live in the area.”

If approved, this funding will be leveraged with additional sources such as 4 percent low-income housing tax credits, a Federal Housing Administration – FHA HUD insured loan, and additional local funding from the county, the city and Housing Authority.

Arrowhead Grove will stand on the site of the historic Waterman Gardens public housing development, which is being revitalized under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program, which will transition the 1942 public housing to a modern and financially stable residential neighborhood. $50 million has been invested to date on the two completed phases – Valencia Vista (75 units) and Olive Meadows (62 units).

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