New housing aims to bring community—and business—to Del Paso Boulevard
Sacramento is in a housing crisis. With low supply and high demand for homes, Sacramentans pay higher rent than the national average and home ownership is increasingly priced out of reach for many working class families.
“Working people who live in Sacramento should have a safe, clean affordable place to live,” says Daniel Savala, executive director of the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership. “People living here and walking here … is what’s going to make this business corridor thrive in the future. How do we get there? Affordable housing is the first part of it.”
To that end, Volunteers of America is working to create new apartment homes and build a community on Del Paso Boulevard. Its proposed affordable housing complex, 1212 Village, is slated to offer 75 units ranging from studio to three bedrooms, together with communal amenities such as a computer lab, bike storage, playground and commercial spaces on the ground floor.
After construction, VOA plans to manage the building and offer supportive services, including financial literacy and access to basic medical services through a partnership with UC Davis School of Medicine.
“VOA has put over half a million dollars into the (development) so far in terms of purchasing the site and…working with architects and…engineers (to develop the plans and specifications),” says Paul Ainger, a recently retired VOA senior development director. “It’s shovel-ready. All the entitlements have been secured, all the environmental clearances have been secured, it’s ready to go.”
Given its location near downtown, multiple bus and light rail lines, and available space, Del Paso Boulevard is an ideal area for new housing. Ainger says VOA would like to start construction—which would last about 18 months—in 2022. What they need now is a financial investment through the City of Sacramento to attract the other necessary funding sources and to help jumpstart the neighborhood’s revitalization process.
“If the city was building this project by themselves, it would be a 100% City of Sacramento investment,” Savala explains. “When you have VOA coming in, you’re just paying a small fraction to get housing. But you need a champion at City Hall to say, ‘We’re going to take dollars from this pot to invest in affordable housing.’”
When housing is more affordable, people have more money to spend on other things. New residents of projects such as 1212 Village will bring more disposable income to spend in the Del Paso Boulevard neighborhood, and other necessities like health care, food and transportation.
“These are teachers, state government workers—they drink coffee, they eat lunch, they take their kids to the park,” Savala adds. “We want them here.”