Successful Public-Private Partnership Provides New Homes to 43 Low-Income Families in San Luis Obispo

Image of South Hills Crossing, a Low-Income Housing Community in San Luis Obsipo, Interior Courtyard

South Hills Crossing in San Luis Obispo Achieves USGBC-H Leed Platinum Rating, Providing High-Quality Housing for Low-Income Families

Showing a major commitment to helping more families continue to live where they work, a public-private collaborative, led by the City of San Luis Obispo and ROEM Corporation, recently welcomed 43 low-income families to their new apartments at South Hills Crossing.

Affordable to families earning up to 60 percent of San Luis Obispo County’s area median income, South Hills Crossing is located in the City of San Luis Obispo’s service-rich downtown core. Residents have easy access to transit, grocery stores, schools, doctor offices, restaurants, and parks. In addition to providing every unit with bike storage to encourage bike usage, all residents at this low-income development have access to a community room with kitchen, computer room, and laundry room.

A Resident’s Perspective

South Hills Crossing resident Rebecca Heinicke could not be more pleased. A mom of two young children, it is her family’s first time living in their own apartment. “We are so grateful for all the hard work everyone has put in,” she said. “We all love the playground on the property and also the computer lab, which is more than just a room full of computers: the girl who watches over the lab holds movie nights for the children, arts and crafts days, homework club and game days. South Hills is located in the middle of everything, with an easy walk to one of SLO’s best parks, the downtown, and even my son’s school. We truly love it here!”

One single mother told South Hills Crossing Community Director that she was going to write a letter of appreciation because  without her South Hills Crossing apartment, she and her daughter would be homeless.

When another resident was struggling to move her heavy metal file cabinet, my ROEM colleague, Rich Jensen, asked the landscapers if they would take a moment to help her. Rich said, “I never saw so many volunteers; the crew came to life! On another day, I apologized to a resident as we were having a small hot water problem. She looked at me and said, ‘are you kidding, we have been struggling and we are just happy to have a home, a roof over our heads.’ This is the stark reality of what we do and why.”

Supportive Stakeholders in the Community Created a Successful Development

This new, supportive community would not have been possible without the City Council’s and the Board of Supervisors’ commitment affordable housing. This commitment allowed for the development of South Hills Crossing, which provided residents who live and work in the area with more housing that’s affordable. From there, it took a successful public-private partnership and complex financing from multiple sources two years to pull together.

South Hills Crossing is being financed with 9 percent low-income housing tax credits and solar tax credits, with additional financial support from the City of San Luis Obispo, County of San Luis Obispo, Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, San Luis Obispo County Housing Trust Fund, Citi Community Capital and AEGON Group.

The $14.1 million, LEED-H Platinum-rated development was designed by international award-winning KTGY Architecture + Planning. ROEM Builders, Inc., was the general contractor.

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