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Paso Robles Housing Authority celebrates 70 new housing units 

Oak Park 2

Oak Park 2 completes the second phase of the Oak Park project.

Oak Park 2 marks the half-way point for 300 affordable units.

–The Paso Robles Housing Authority (PRHA) held the grand opening ceremony for Oak Park 2 affordable homes on Thursday at the Oak Park Community Center. Oak Park 2 adds 70 new affordable units, bringing the total to 150 of the planned 300 units. When completed, the 300 Oak Park units will replace the original 148 original units built in 1942 that sat along Pine Street between 28th and 34th streets.

Paso Robles Housing Authority Office Manager Jessica Aguilar, one of the opening ceremony speakers, shared her memories about growing up in “old Oak Park.” Aguilar was born and lived all of her youth at the original Oak Park and her mother was the longest residing Oak Park tenant. After starting her own family, Aguilar returned to work for the Housing Authority and has been there for the past 14 years. Aguilar said it has been like going full circle and is a rewarding experience seeing the changes over the years and the positive differences the new units are making in people’s lives.

The original Oak Park  was built to provide housing for the troops and families of Camp Roberts during WWII. The PRHA has operated Oak Park as low-income housing since 1953. In 2012 the Housing Authority committed to an affordable housing project that would replace the 70-year old original military housing.

Original Housing

The remaining 1942 buildings will be replaced by future Oak Park development phases.

The speakers at Thursday’s ceremony included Paso Robles Housing Authority Executive Director David Cooke, Monterey County Housing Authority Development Corporation President Starla Warren, Paso Robles Mayor Steven Martin, Bob Fonarow representing the PRHA Board of Commissioners, representatives from the offices of Senator Bill Monning, Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and Representative Lois Capps and Thomas Espinoza representing the Monterey County Housing Authority Development Corporation.

Cooke said the units in Phase 1 have been fully leased and 20 units in Oak Park 2 are already leased. Cooke expects the rest to be filled over the next few months. Cooke said he is proud to be part of a project that gives “children a decent place to come home to every day.”

Playground

The Oak Park Community playground adjacent to the Community Center.

The Housing Authority is now accepting applications for Oak Park 2. The units are a mix of one, two, three and four bedrooms in two and three story buildings. Square footage ranges from 857 for a one bedroom up to 1,455 for a four bedroom. Rents accommodate qualified families earning 30 to 60 percent of the median income for San Luis Obispo County.

Unit amenities include central air, blinds, carpet, storage, walk-in closets, balcony, full kitchen with dishwasher and garbage disposal and washer/dryer hookups. Solar energy provides power for common area usage as well as a portion of tenant usage. Low-flow water fixture and tankless hot water heaters improve energy efficiency, meaning lower utility costs.

There is an on-site manager and laundry and community rooms, a picnic area, playground, basketball and volleyball courts. Oak Park families can also participate in the ACORNS after school program and YouthWorks, a nonprofit Oak Park community organization that teaches leadership and job skills to prepare youth for the working world.

Applications in both Spanish and English can be obtained online or by calling the office at (805) 238-4015.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.

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