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Roseville’s first downtown affordable housing complex opened this month. Two more are on the way

Take a look around Roseville’s first affordable housing complex

Lohse Apartments, an affordable housing complex in Roseville, opened November 2018. Two more complexes will begin construction in the city's Old Town neighborhood.
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Lohse Apartments, an affordable housing complex in Roseville, opened November 2018. Two more complexes will begin construction in the city's Old Town neighborhood.

Roseville held a grand opening for its first downtown affordable housing complex this month, with construction on two more housing developments geared toward low-income residents in the affluent city set to begin later this year.

Residents began moving into Lohse Apartments, a $24 million four-story apartment complex with 58 units in downtown Roseville, in November.

To apply for the apartments, candidates must earn between 30 and 60 percent of Placer County’s median income for their household size – for example, a family of four would need to earn between about $20,800 and $41,600 to qualify, The Bee previously reported. Those individuals were then selected via lottery, and passed credit and background checks.

“Affordable housing such as the development behind me serves members of the local workforce like those ... usually making between $25,000 to $40,000 a year,” said Roseville housing manager Danielle Foster in a video posted by the city Feb. 4.

Those on fixed incomes, such as senior citizens or individuals with disabilities, also benefit from low-income housing in Roseville, she said in the video.

Also coming are two additional affordable housing buildings in Roseville’s Old Town neighborhood, just one block from each other.

Main Street Plaza Apartments, at the intersection of Washington Boulevard and Main Street, will include 65 units, according to the city, about half of which will be for veterans and other individuals with special needs, according to Placer County. The project will cost about $32 million.

The apartments will replace the condemned Roseville Hotel, demolished last year by Los Angeles-based Meta Housing Corp., which owns the property and is developing the affordable housing complex.

Junction Crossing, also on Washington Boulevard between Church and Pacific streets, is a planned $15.8 million, 80-unit apartment building set to begin construction this year. The building’s developer, Sacramento-based St. Anton Communities, is still finalizing the project’s financing.

The new developments come as Roseville continues to work toward addressing the lack of affordable housing in the city. The median household income in Roseville was about $80,400 in 2017 according to U.S. Census Bureau data, about 20 percent higher than in the Sacramento region.

Despite that, Foster said, a significant population of residents work in entry-level positions, or low-wage service and manufacturing jobs, and they need to be housed.

“Affordable housing development in the downtown provides an opportunity for the workforce to live locally while also providing foot traffic to the businesses in the area,” Foster said in the city video.

In 1989, Roseville created a general plan goal that 10 percent of all new housing be affordable units for households with very low to median income levels. Since then, the policy has produced 2,867 affordable housing units, according to the city.

Rising rents in Sacramento city and county have drawn attention, and surrounding counties in the region also feel the affordable housing squeeze.

A Placer County grand jury report last year found that while the county has “taken positive steps to address the issue of affordable housing,” it was falling short of the needed affordable housing stock.

In particular, the report noted the practice of charging developers inconsistent in-lieu fees to avoid building affordable units within their projects. Such fees received by the county are intended to fund affordable housing units, but the report said nearly $1 million collected had not been allocated for any specific housing development.

According to a 2018 California Department of Finance, Placer County was the second fastest growing county in the state based on percentage in 2017.

Editor’s note: This story and headline were updated Feb. 11 to correct that the Lohse Apartments complex is the first affordable housing project in downtown Roseville, not the first citywide.

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Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks covers Sacramento County and the cities and suburbs beyond the capital. She’s previously worked at The New York Times and NPR, and is a former Bee intern. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she was the managing editor of The Daily Californian.
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