Housing for very low income residents continues to be difficult to come by in Monterey County, but soon more than 100 people could find permanent homes at a new apartment complex in Salinas’ Chinatown, including people with serious health and mental health challenges.
Moon Gate Plaza, developed by nonprofit MidPen Housing, is now accepting pre-applications for the apartment complex, June 10 through June 28.
The complex was built in part with a $2.5 million grant from Central California Alliance for Health in a unique plan to use health care funds to create permanent supportive housing. The Alliance's board recognized that such stable housing is a cost effective alternative to clients who repeatedly use emergency rooms and need to be hospitalized. It's also a way to lift people out of—or prevent the most fragile people from sliding into—homelessness.
In exchange for the grant, MidPen agreed to set aside 20 units for Alliance members, who receive Medi-Cal through the nonprofit insurance provider.
Another 20 units are being set aside for referrals from Interim, Inc., a local nonprofit that assists people with mental health challenges. In addition, the Monterey County Health Department provided funds from its Whole Person Care initiative to help pay for three full-time case managers and other supportive services.
All total there are 90 units: 81 studios; four one-bedroom apartments; and five two-bedroom apartments. Officials expect to move residents in sometime this fall.
Rents will range from $438 to $939 a month, depending on the applicants’ income levels—they must earn anywhere up to 60 percent of the area’s median income level.
(This year the state’s Housing and Community Development Department recognizes $74,100 as the median income level for Monterey County. Someone would have to receive $44,460 or less in pay and benefits annually to qualify to live in Moon Gate Plaza.)
The complex includes a community room with a kitchen, a courtyard with community gardens, bicycle storage, a library and a multi-purpose room.
Services planned for the apartments include individualized service plan assessments, cognitive and behavioral modification, professional case management and care coordination.
MidPen officials are also promising organized activities like arts classes and events, health and wellness classes and cultural and educational programs to promote community building.
Applications are available online or at the leasing office located at 313 Salinas St., Salinas. Completed pre-applications will only be accepted at the leasing office and must be received there in person or by mail by 5pm on June 28.