Encinitas negotiating with Habitat for Humanity

June 25, 2017 by  

The Encinitas City Council voted recently to negotiate with the San Diego chapter of Habitat for Humanity over the possibility of the organization building homes on a piece of land the city owns.

The property, which is at the corner of Leucadia Boulevard and Urania Avenue, might become the location of two homes, and possibly two “granny flats” as well, for residents with lower incomes. The vote was 4-1, with most council members agreeing building the housing would help Encinitas meet its goal of creating affordable housing.

Catherine Blakespear, Encinitas’s mayor, said the project was perfect for this location, because the city does not own much land. Under the agreement, Habitat would lease the property from the city for 55 years, then build the homes and sell them to low-income residents. Habitat would provide qualified buyers with a $250,000 mortgage at 0% interest, and the buyer would work on their own homes for 500 hours to create a “sweat equity” down payment.

Lori Holt Pfeiler, who is the executive director of Habitat, came to Encinitas with the idea, which she described as a win-win situation for Encinitas. The city has not yet met its goal, mandated by the state of California, of providing enough low-income housing. Building the homes would help rectify that, and help the residents as well.

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