Seaside families offered down-to-earth prices for new homes.
Thursday, May 4, 2006
If not for the luck of the draw—literally—Lope Delis, her husband and their two children would probably be living in Bakersfield now. Like many families here, the Delises can’t afford to buy a market-rate home in Monterey County (with a median home price of $620,000) even though the family pulls in two incomes.
So the Delises last year did what a lot of people do: They planned to leave. But on a whim, last fall, they also filed an application for one of a dozen new affordable homes being built in Seaside on San Pablo Avenue.
As Lope Delis saw it, the odds were nearly impossible. Nearly 250 Seaside families were vying for these new houses.
But one day in December, after a morning of home-hunting in Bakersfield, the Delises learned that theirs was one of the lucky dozen applications selected by a lottery run by Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association (CHISPA).
“I was like, ‘Oh my God!’” Delis says. “Actually, I’m still kind of like that even now.”
The 12 homes that make up San Pablo Court, which was built and financed by Seaside’s Redevelopment Agency and Colonial Partners, each have two or three bedrooms, a two-car garage, a washer and dryer, and a porch.
All 12 homes are priced affordable, at $160,000, $195,000 or $250,000, depending on the buyers’ annual income (which ranges from $26,000 to $73,000).
Patrick Malate, a 37-year-old father and husband, was also one of the few chosen by random drawing.
“We really didn’t think we had much of a chance at being selected,” Malate says. “The way we looked at, if it was meant to be then it would happen.”
As Seaside, CHISPA and other officials mingled with the new residents at San Pablo Court last week, it remains unclear what became of the 200 families who, also by luck of the draw, must look elsewhere for their shot at owning a home.