OCEANSIDE — A new pilot program will help low- to moderate-income households buy homes in the city.
The Oceanside City Council recently approved the Affordable Market Homebuyer Assistance Pilot Program at its Sept. 9 meeting. The program targets markets of families or individuals from low- to moderate-incomes up to 115% of the region’s median household income.
An applicant would receive a loan of 20% through the program to be used as a down payment for a house, which according to staff will make the applicant a competitive buyer in the current market.
The program limits purchase prices of homes to $600,000 for a single-family detached unit, and $450,000 for a condominium, townhome or twin home.
To fund the pilot program, $360,000 of inclusionary housing in-lieu fees will be used. In-lieu fees are collected by the city from developers to provide housing opportunities for low- or moderate-income households anywhere in the city.
Councilman Christopher Rodriguez felt that amount was not enough and requested that amount be bumped up to $1 million.
“This is going to be huge for our city,” Rodriguez said. “We need at least a million to make this work.”
The other council members felt that the $360,000 was a good starting place for a pilot program and elected to keep it that way.
Council approved the program 4-1 with only Councilman Ryan Keim opposed.
Keim said though he believes the program has great potential, he is concerned about the city’s various housing strategies as separate items rather than as one comprehensive item.
During the same evening, the Council allowed staff to move forward with a request for proposals (RFP)/notice of available funding (NOFA) to focus on a housing strategy for the city’s homeless. This strategy could include creating temporary shelters, bridge housing, vouchers, care coordination, permanent supportive housing and homelessness prevention.
The housing strategy also includes a Housing Commission recommendation that no more than $500,000 of in-lieu funds be used for homeless sheltering property or infrastructure.
Keim opposed both items because they weren’t together as part of one comprehensive housing strategy.
“I can picture (the pilot program) as part a comprehensive plan,” Keim said.
Prior to the approval of both the housing strategy and the affordable housing pilot program, the inclusionary in-lieu fund had an available balance of approximately $8 million.