Affordable housing groups and community organizations are joining the call for more affordable housing for Solano County, 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.
“Lack of affordable housing created housing insecurity for low-income communities and families even before our current public health crisis. Now, COVID-19 exacerbates low-income families’ housing instability and our state’s affordable housing crisis,” said Cristal Little, Vallejo Housing Justice Organizer, Urban Habitat. “Approving affordable housing projects, like Solano County’s Georgetown project, are a small but important part of advancing a housing justice agenda that helps protect low-income and communities of color from displacement and allows families to stay in their homes. “
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.
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.
“Without adequate affordable housing, there is no relief for those facing housing insecurity in Solano County,” said Dylan Casey, Executive Director, California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund. “Affordable projects like Georgetown can house hundreds of families and have a very real impact during this crisis.”
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.
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 information about the Georgetown Project is available at HousingForHundreds.Com