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Transforming Lives: The Jessie Street Terrace Affordable Housing Project in Santa Cruz

We are thrilled to share the exciting news of a transformative project that will make a lasting impact on the Santa Cruz community. The former Jessie Street Apartments are undergoing a remarkable redevelopment, giving rise to the innovative Jessie Street Terrace—a five-story affordable housing complex that aims to uplift and empower individuals with special needs. This blog post will delve into the details of this inspiring endeavor and its potential to create a brighter future for those in need of safe and affordable housing.

A Unique Vision for Better Health Outcomes:
Standing in front of the razed site of the former Jessie Street Apartments, State Department of Housing and Community Development Section Chief, Cathy Kungu, described the pending development as a “unique project” that will address the critical housing needs of individuals with both physical and behavioral conditions. With a focus on improved health outcomes, this undertaking promises to serve as a vital component of the county’s healthcare delivery system, providing housing interventions for the most complex physical needs.

The Ceremonial Groundbreaking:
Dozens of individuals gathered at 314 Jessie St. for the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Jessie Street Terrace. This new five-story development will comprise 50 units, including dedicated apartments for an on-site manager and services staff. To prioritize those most in need, the project will offer housing to 22 homeless veterans, homeless individuals with disabilities, and the existing special needs residents. These units will be available to individuals with incomes ranging from 20% to 50% of the area median income, ensuring accessibility to those facing financial challenges.

Relocation and Future Tenants:
Prior to the demolition, 15 households residing at the property were relocated to subsidized market-rate housing in March, ensuring a smooth transition for the existing residents. Once the project is completed, these residents will have the opportunity to return. Future tenants will be referred to MidPen Housing Corp., the developer, through the Housing Authority and the countywide “Smart Path” assessment system. Notably, tenants without vehicles will receive first preference, as the development will provide limited on-site parking spaces.

A Model for the Future:
Santa Cruz Mayor, Fred Keeley, hailed the Jessie Street Terrace as a model for future endeavors in the city. With 48 affordable housing vouchers attached to the project through the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz, this development marks a significant milestone. By leveraging rental assistance vouchers to support physical housing units, the Housing Authority is embracing a strategic and intentional approach to expand its mission from rental assistance to development support.

Building a Stronger Community:
The Jessie Street Terrace project is just one of many county housing projects in the pipeline. The Housing Authority has committed to providing project-based vouchers for 18 additional developments, including a 20-unit studio apartment complex near Natural Bridges State Beach. By reimagining their mission and focusing on development, the Housing Authority aims to create a more inclusive and thriving community.

The Jessie Street Terrace affordable housing project in Santa Cruz is a testament to the power of collaboration, compassion, and innovation. This transformative endeavor will not only provide safe and affordable housing for individuals with special needs but also serve as a catalyst for better health outcomes and improved lives. As we eagerly await the completion of this inspiring project, let us celebrate progress, inclusivity, and the vision of a brighter future for all members of our community.

Stay tuned for more updates as the Jessie Street Terrace takes shape and brings hope and stability to those in need.

#AffordableHousing #SantaCruzCommunity #TransformingLives

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