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Affordable Housing Project Moving Forward For City
City
During the Riverbank City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 9 River Cove residents were able to share their opinions and concerns regarding river access. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

The City of Riverbank has a plan to offer affordable housing as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Riverbank and the developer Cary Pope was recently approved by the City Council. At a previous meeting the council approved a development agreement with Pope for a 28 lot single-family residential subdivision located at 2912 Ward Avenue.

Now that the council has approved the MOU the developer can start engineering the infrastructure and then submit the plans for review and approval, according to City Manager Sean Scully. If the plans submitted are approved by the council then Pope will be able to proceed with the construction of the roads, water, sewer, and infrastructure necessary prior to start construction of the homes. The project is slated to begin in 2021; however the weather will likely be a factor in determining the actual start date.

“This is an extremely important project for Riverbank,” stated Scully. “Riverbank, like many communities, suffers from a lack of available housing and a lack of available affordable housing. We particularly like this project because a “for purchase affordable single family project” are relatively rare in our geographic area. This project gives Riverbank residents who might not have been able to afford a standard market rate single family home the opportunity to purchase one, build equity and set roots down in Riverbank for the long term.”

The full MOU with complete details are listed at riverbank.org as well as a video of the meeting that includes the discussion and explanation.

As stated in the report the project site is located in Riverbank and bound by Ward Avenue to the north; Roselle Avenue to the east; Fern Court to the south; and Don Ramon Avenue to the west. The project site is vacant land except for an older residence to be removed. The site is surrounded by developed subdivisions.

There were no public comments at the meeting regarding the detailed MOU.

“It (Ward Project) is one project (of many) that we hope will diversify our housing stock and provide a wider range of housing options for our residents,” added Scully. “We are really excited about this project.”

The City Council deemed the Ward Avenue affordable housing project eligible for funding through the Permanent Local Housing Assistance (PLHA). The MOU details the specifics that the city will provide on the project and the commitment to affordability within the Ward project. The city will provide financial assistance to the project to lower the overall cost for development, making the single family homes more affordable.