Junsay Oaks Development

Junsay Oaks Development in Marina was under construction for much of last year and the beginning of 2019.

Junsay Oaks, a much-needed affordable housing development in Marina designed specifically for low-income seniors ages 62 and older, is now accepting waitlist applications. The deadline to apply is 5pm Friday, May 31.

The 47-unit apartment complex named for former Marina city clerk Joy Junsay is located next to the Marina Post Office and near an MST center. It was built by nonprofit developer CHISPA for about $17 million, using a variety of funding and financing tools available for affordable housing projects.

The most unique funding source was from the Central California Alliance for Health, Monterey County’s only health insurance nonprofit administering Medi-Cal. The Alliance awarded CHISPA a $2.5 million grant, using monies that typically would go to fund health care projects.

Recognizing that a stable home can be a form of health care—and ultimately will save money due to decreased hospital stays and medical visits—the Alliance’s Board of Directors voted to support both Junsay Oaks and another development in Salinas’ Chinatown called Moon Gate Plaza built by the nonprofit MidPen Housing, which also received $2.5 million.

In exchange for the grant money, the developers of each project agreed to set aside 20 units for Alliance members for at least 10 years.

The Monterey County Health Department also committed to provide services to Junsay Oaks residents for 10 years. An office for health workers is included in the apartment complex.

The pre-application period opened on May 20. All applications received between then and May 31 will be sorted by a random selection process for review, according to the CHISPA website. The pre-applications must be received—not postmarked—by 5pm Friday at the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey, 123 Rico St., Salinas.

Paper applications are available from the Housing Authority, as well as from the Marina Senior Center, Marina Manor and CHISPA’s main office in Salinas. Applications are also available for download from the CHISPA website.

Expect those units to get snapped up quickly. Last year when MidPen announced it was accepting applications for its 19-unit senior apartment complex in Monterey more than 1,000 people responded. Only about 400 were eligible.

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Pam Marino joined the Monterey County Weekly in November 2016. She covers the communities of Carmel, Pacific Grove, Del Rey Oaks, Pebble Beach and North County. She also covers tourism, health, housing and homelessness, business and agriculture.

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