A broad coalition of affordable housing, veteran and labor groups is urging the federal government to allow the rehabilitation of hundreds of homes near Travis Air Force Base that would provide critical affordable housing for Solano County families and veterans.
After serving as military housing for 20 years, these homes have been vacant for more than a decade because the property owner, Hunt, needs cooperation from Travis Air Force Base to reconnect water and sewer services before the units can be refurbished. Hunt has agreed to pay the Base for water and sewer service and update the units at no cost to taxpayers.
Hunt, along with its development partner the Veterans Housing Development Corporation, plans to make the homes available for veterans and middle-class families on limited incomes. In a letter sent to the Fairfield City Council, the coalition asked for the Council’s help in facilitating a temporary use agreement with Travis Air Force Base to make these units a reality.
Like other parts of California, Solano County is in desperate need of affordable housing. The county has a housing shortfall of more than 13,000 homes, and renters need to earn more than $72,000 annually – three times the state minimum wage – to afford the County’s median rent.
“Lack of affordable housing leads to high rents, overcrowding and substandard housing conditions,” said Rachel Ford, chair of the Solano Interfaith Collaborative on Poverty. “Solano needs affordable housing projects like Georgetown as part of a multi-pronged effort to house those low-income families in danger of becoming homeless themselves. 288 affordable units in our backyard is a big step in the right direction.”
Georgetown will bring nearly 300 units of 100 percent affordable two-, three- and four-bedroom homes to Solano County, with 90 percent of the units available for low-income individuals and families and the remaining 10 percent for very-low-income residents. With a Community Workforce Agreement in place, the rehabilitation of Georgetown will also utilize a skilled and trained local workforce and provide good wages and benefits for those working on the project.
Since 2014, the City of Fairfield has permitted only 140 of the 1,183 low- and very-low-income units required ¾ a drop in the bucket compared with what the City needs.
More than 40 units will be set aside for veterans’ housing and will include onsite services for disabled veterans provided by Veterans Housing Development Corporation.
“After dedicating many years of service to our nation, many veterans face housing and job insecurity when leaving military service,” said Melissa Washington, Founder and CEO of Women Veterans Alliance. “Some have difficulty finding support networks or navigating the services or benefits available to them. Not only does the affordable Georgetown housing project carve out 15% of its 288 units for affordable veteran housing, it also provides case management and a staff of professionals who have experience developing treatment plans and helping veterans access the much-needed services available to them.”
More information about the Georgetown Project is available at HousingForHundreds.Com