Carlsbad Redevelopment Agency earns award

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Redevelopment Agency recently received an “Outstanding Government Agency” award by the San Diego Housing Federation.
The agency acquired this honor for its Roosevelt Gardens Condominium development at the San Diego Housing Federation’s (SDHF) 16th annual Housing and Community Development Recognition Awards ceremony June 9.
“The nomination itself was an honor from such an accomplished organization with such dedicated members and directors,” said Debbie Fountain, the city’s housing and neighborhood services director.
Although they knew of their nomination prior to the ceremony, they discovered their win and received a house-shaped crystal award at the reception in Point Loma, Fountain said.
“The award by SDHF was for taking unusual risk or initiative to support affordable housing and/or community development initiatives in the past year,” Fountain said. “More specifically, the (Carlsbad Redevelopment Agency) was honored for its partnership with Habitat for Humanity to provide 11 units of ownership housing to very low income households within the Village of Carlsbad.”
The first five units of the Roosevelt Gardens Condominium complex was completed in 2009, and the remaining six units, were finished in February.
“The 11-unit Roosevelt Gardens Condominium development was completed this year, and all of the families have been selected and moved into their homes,” she said. “Each homeowner was required to provide 250 hours of sweat equity to assist with construction of the homes; in addition, Habitat for Humanity used other volunteers to construct the units and ensure affordability.”
The cost of the project was $3.4 million. Located at the southern end of Laguna Drive and Roosevelt Street, the housing locale was considered ideal since it was within walking distance to public transportation, eateries, and other daily services.
“The Carlsbad Redevelopment Agency provided the land, a predevelopment loan and a construction loan for a total contribution value of approximately $1.5 million,” Fountain said.
Other monies trickled in from grants, in-kind and private donations and sponsors, with city employees also clocking in their own volunteer time to the cause, too.
Fountain said the condominiums were sold to very low-income households who were qualified, selected and financed by San Diego Habitat for Humanity.
After the Carlsbad Redevelopment Agency purchased the land in 2003, they reached out to Habitat for Humanity when discovering they had a financial project challenge on its hands.
San Diego Habitat for Humanity helped the Agency create 11 units, which was a low-income housing requirement.
“The Redevelopment Agency worked in partnership with Habitat to help them reinvent their product type and to obtain the financing necessary to complete the project,” said Fountain, adding how the declining economy presented financing challenges. “Ultimately, however, the financing was obtained and the project moved forward to completion.”
A branch of the city, the Carlsbad Redevelopment Agency champions a host of programs consisting of providing affordable housing, enhancing and expanding local businesses, improving public infrastructures, revitalizing areas in decline, and much more.
“The SDHF honors housing excellence in a variety of ways,” Fountain said. “This award ceremony was a celebration of affordable housing and those that make it happen with passionate commitment and dedication — the award was an added reminder that others celebrated with our success and wanted to recognize the hard work.”

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