De­fer­ral nec­es­sary to meet dead­line for fund­ing

Antelope Valley Press - - Front Page - By AL­LI­SON GATLIN Val­ley Press Staff Writer

PALM­DALE — The Palm­dale Wa­ter District has agreed to de­fer pay­ment on a por­tion of the de­vel­oper’s fees as­so­ci­ated with in­stalling the nec­es­sary wa­ter sys­tems for the Homes 4 Fam­i­lies vet­er­ans housing devel­op­ment, with a guar­an­tee from Palm­dale’s Housing Au­thor­ity for the re­main­der.

The de­fer­ral is nec­es­sary to meet the time­lines for the devel­op­ment’s fund­ing through the Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, or Cal Vet.

The District’s Board of Di­rec­tors unan­i­mously ap­proved the de­fer­ral with­out dis­cus­sion as part of the con­sent agenda dur­ing its Dec. 16 meet­ing.

The 56-home housing project is be­ing built un­der Homes 4 Fam­i­lies’ vet­eran en­riched neigh­bor­hood model, which of­fers home own­er­ship and fam­ily en­rich­ment ser­vices to low-in­come vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies. Com­pli­men­tary “wrap­around” ser­vices in­clude fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy, trauma-in­formed care, ser­vices for mil­i­tary chil­dren and vet­eran-to-vet­eran sup­port.

In or­der to pro­vide the nec­es­sary wa­ter ser­vice to the neigh­bor­hood, the District re­quires $648,432 in cap­i­tal im­prove­ment fees, ac­cord­ing to the staff re­port.

Pay­ment of th­ese fees is a re­quire­ment be­fore con­struc­tion may be­gin, how­ever, Homes 4 Fam­i­lies’ fund­ing through Cal Vet is re­ceived in phases, based on the pro­gres­sion of con­struc­tion. One such mile­stone is com­ple­tion of the foun­da­tion pads, which re­quires the wa­ter sys­tems to be in­stalled, first.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion can pay one-third of the fees now, or $216,144, ac­cord­ing to the staff re­port, with the re­main­der af­ter it re­ceives Cal Vet fund­ing.

In the in­terim, Palm­dale’s Housing Au­thor­ity, which has an Af­ford­able Housing Agree­ment with Homes 4 Fam­i­lies for devel­op­ment of the project, will hold back the re­main­ing $432,288 of the cap­i­tal im­prove­ment fees from the $2.8 mil­lion loan ap­proved for the project, as a guar­an­tee un­til Homes 4 Fam­i­lies can ful­fill the pay­ment.

The vet­er­ans neigh­bor­hood at Av­enue R and Divi­sion Street is tak­ing shape, thanks in large part

to vol­un­teer la­bor. Vet­er­ans are re­quired to com­plete en­rich­ment ser­vices, in­clud­ing fi­nan­cial ed­u­ca­tion and post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der pro­grams be­fore they move in, and con­trib­ute in sweat eq­uity to the con­struc­tion.

The first phase of the project is ex­pected to be com­pleted and ready for the vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies to move in by the end of 2020.

Two homes have al­ready been com­pleted, thanks to the par­tic­i­pa­tion of hun­dreds of vol­un­teers and the “Ex­treme Makeover: Home Edi­tion” tele­vi­sion show, in Au­gust.

Vol­un­teers also built a com­mu­nity play­ground dur­ing the film­ing.

Cour­tesy photo

The Palm­dale Wa­ter District agreed to de­fer a por­tion of the fees to in­stall wa­ter sys­tems for Homes 4 Fam­i­lies vet­er­ans housing devel­op­ment, with a guar­an­tee from Palm­dale’s Housing Au­thor­ity, to al­low con­struc­tion on the 56-home neigh­bor­hood to pro­ceed.

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