Riverside’s La Sierra neighborhood to get solar-powered affordable housing complex – Press Enterprise
A solar-powered apartment complex in Riverside will provide services and affordable housing for low-income families and homeless residents.
Vista de La Sierra, at 11253 Pierce St. in the La Sierra neighborhood of Riverside, will be built on land leased by the Pacific Union Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, according to a news release.
“Providing support to our neighbors is an important part of our values as a church,” Stephen V. Mayer, treasurer and chief financial officer of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, said in the statement. This project “will do just that, creating new hope for families and strengthening our community through affordable housing.”
There will be 80 units, about half for eligible families earning less than 60% of the area’s median income, and the other half will be permanent, supportive housing for permanently homeless residents, the statement said.
Funding for permanent supportive housing will come from the state’s No Place Like Home program.
Vista de La Sierra began in June and is expected to be completed in late 2023 or early 2024, officials said.
It is one of Riverside’s next supportive housing communities under the city’s five-year plan to reduce homelessness.
“These high-quality homes will be a wonderful addition to our city’s stock of affordable housing options,” Riverside Housing Manager Michelle Davis said in the release.
The apartment complex is being built by National Community Renaissance — or National CORE, a Rancho Cucamonga-based affordable housing developer — with city, county and nonprofit partners. The developer has communities across the state and 32 properties in the Inland Empire, including two in Riverside; Mission Village Seniors’ Residences and Mission Pointe Family Apartments.
Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson said in the statement that the city is focused on “innovative measures” to build “affordable and sustainable housing.”
Heidi Marshall, director of housing and labor solutions for Riverside County, said the county will provide rental subsidies. She said it was one of the efforts to offer “relief from the current housing crisis”.
Facilities will include a community center for resident services and activities, a swimming pool and recreation area, playgrounds, a community garden and laundry facilities, officials said.
Free on-site community programs and services – from financial literacy workshops to health and social services – will be offered to residents. These were made possible through National CORE and Riverside’s partnerships with organizations such as Mercy House and the Hope through Housing Foundation.
Gregory Bradbard, president of Hope through Housing, said the aim was to provide “high quality housing” that “elevates the dignity of our residents”.
“The mission is to use affordable housing as a platform…where children can feel safe and families can thrive,” Bradbard said. “With well-maintained and safe on-site services, it removes some of the emotional burden they may have faced before.”
Riverside University Health System – Behavioral Health will provide case management and other services to those in need.
Dr. Matthew Chang, director of the department, said in the statement that the community will provide “access to support services which will include behavioral health and substance abuse services.”
“With nearly half of these apartments reserved for homeless individuals and families, Vista de La Sierra will help create a healthier Riverside,” Chang said.
The development aims to focus on sustainability.
Vista de La Sierra will produce 100% of its energy. All units and amenities will be solar powered by rooftop panels producing 257 kilowatts of electricity, exceeding state building energy efficiency standards, officials said in the statement.
The energy-efficient design will reduce energy bills, officials said. Drought-resistant landscaping and water-efficient plumbing aim to save electricity and water.
The project will cost about $45.1 million, said National CORE spokeswoman Danielle Edwards.
The lease application process for qualifying low-income housing will begin before the apartments end, tentatively in late summer 2023, Edwards said.
Prospective residents can apply on the National CORE website and participate in a lottery scheme. Residents of permanent supportive housing will be coordinated by the county.