OCEANSIDE — At its first meeting in 2024, the City Council unanimously approved a finance plan that would provide up to $20 million in state-issued, tax-exempt revenue bonds for the affordable housing portion of the North River Farms project.
South River Village will consist of a four-story, 43-unit apartment complex offering 100% affordable housing for very low and low-income households on a 0.92-acre parcel of land at the northeast corner of College Boulevard and North River Road.
The apartments will offer a mix of one-to-three-bedroom units for rent to households between 30% and 80% of the area median income, with 28% reserved for very low-income households.
A number of the units will also be reserved for people with developmental disabilities, according to Housing and Neighborhood Services Director Leilani Hines.
The apartments will be deed-restricted affordable housing for 55 years.
Total project costs are estimated at $22 million, with each unit costing approximately $510,665. Bonds and tax credits will cover about $10.7 million, with developer subsidies covering 16%.
The city is neither required nor requested to provide any financial support to the project due to the developers’ contributions, Hines told City Council on Jan. 10.
While the project only intends to use $10.7 million in tax-exempt bonds, the plan allows Mirka South River Village, the project sponsor and affordable housing developer, to access up to $20 million. With the extra financing cushion, the project developer can request more funds in the event of unforeseen increases in construction costs without additional hearings and bond approvals.
While the California Municipal Finance Authority (CMFA) will serve as the conduit bond issuer, state law first requires approval from the city hosting the project — in this case, Oceanside — for the CMFA to issue the bonds. Following council adoption, no other participation from the city in the bond financing is required.
Mayor Esther Sanchez said the state ministerially approved the project, which is why it did not undergo the same regular public process as other developments in the city.
“It was basically approved without any presentation to the public,” she said.
According to staff, the project will be constructed to satisfy North River Farms’ inclusionary housing requirements as per city code. The project received its entitlement last May, and its building permits are under review.