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North Sacramento affordable housing moving forward. But it needs $4 million

See drone video of former Lumberjack site approved for affordable housing

A drone video shows the former Lumberjack site on Arden Way, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, that has been approved as an affordable housing complex.
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A drone video shows the former Lumberjack site on Arden Way, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, that has been approved as an affordable housing complex.

A north Sacramento affordable housing complex will move forward, despite a challenge from a group of neighborhood associations and business owners, according to a city letter sent Thursday.

The next hurdle for the project – a 128-unit complex at the long vacant Lumberjack site on Arden Way near Evergreen Street — will be a request for city funding.

Community HousingWorks, a nonprofit developer based in San Diego, plans to ask the city for $4 million for the project, a request that could come as soon as the City Council meeting July 23, said Lisa Huff, of Community HousingWorks.

Seventeen people signed a July 3 letter to challenge the project, claiming the city wrongly exempted the project from the California Environmental Quality Act, that the soil at the site could be contaminated from underground leaking gasoline tanks, and that the project should have gone to the City Council or Planning Commission for public consideration.

The group also said the project continues a troubling trend of concentrating low-income and homeless individuals in north Sacramento.

“The project supports the State of California and City of Sacramento housing policies, affordable housing policies and initiatives and homeless housing programs and policies,” the city letter read. “Further this project has complied with all required public noticing for the Site Plan and Design Review application and for CEQA purposes.”

The decision cannot be appealed.

The apartments will be available to people who make between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income – between $25,000 and $50,000 annually for a family of four, Huff said. Federal Housing Choice vouchers, formerly called Section 8 vouchers, will be accepted, Huff said.

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Theresa Clift covers Sacramento City Hall. Before joining The Bee in 2018, she worked as a local government reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Daily Press in Virginia and the Wausau Daily Herald in Wisconsin. She grew up in Michigan and graduated from Central Michigan University.

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