Ortiz Family Plaza to help fill critical need for affordable homes
An affordable housing development to meet the needs of Sonoma County’s changing farmworker population is coming soon to Santa Rosa. California Human Development announces closing of financing for the 30 unit Ortiz Family Plaza to be located in Santa Rosa’s Larkfield-Wikiup region. Construction is set to begin early next month.
“Ortiz Family Plaza will provide the men and women who harvest Sonoma County’s bounty with clean, safe and affordable homes to rest and raise their families,” says Christopher Paige, CHD’s chief executive officer. “Moreover, it will provide stability for work-authorized farmworkers who play a crucial role in the Sonoma County economy. These are much-needed affordable homes for people who live here year-round and whose children are growing up here.”
A 2015 survey by the Sonoma County Health Department shows the profile of county farmworkers is changing, with nearly 90% now living in Sonoma County permanently. It shows farmworkers spend up to 60% of their income on rent and it identifies affordable housing as a critical need. A subsidy from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) allows Ortiz Family Plaza to help fill this need by capping rents for farmworker residents at 30% of income.
In development since 2009, Ortiz Family Plaza involves a wide combination of support from federal, state and local government, as well as private foundations, businesses, and individuals. The nearly $11 million complex will be located on a long vacant 1.78-acres parcel at 5360 Old Redwood Hwy and will feature two-bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom apartments with a community center, a management office, kitchen, covered patio, BBQ/picnic area, a playground, community gardens, and a teen recreational area. Onsite services such as English as a Second Language, citizenship workshops, financial literacy classes, health services outreach, mentoring programs, computer classes, education and nutrition programs will be offered.