December 2008

Media Contact: Annette Montoya or Rochelle Rose
(805) 781-3088 x or (805) 448-8338
annettem@pshhc.org or rocheller@pshhc.org


Low-Income Families are "Home for the Holidays"

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing announces the completion of a 29-unit permanently affordable apartment complex called “Lachen Tara” in Avila Beach. The site is located on the 200 block of Ocean Oaks Drive, on the corner of Laurel Lane and Ocean Oaks Drive.

Nearly 20 years since the original discovery of contamination at the site, families have started to move in to new rental housing, just in time for the holidays. Lachen Tara should be fully occupied by mid January 2009. Apartments include eight studios, 18 one-bedroom, and three two-bedroom units from 450 to 880 square feet. Four units are reserved for farm workers and eight units are reserved for people with special needs. Rents range between $400 to $700.

Avila Beach had been home to a Unocal tank farm and oil transport operation from the early 1900s to the 1980s. In 1989 it was discovered that Unocal's underground pipes had been leaking petroleum products into the soil, undetected, for years. In 1997, Unocal publicly accepted responsibility for the contamination and developed a multi-part clean-up plan to clean up the. Due to the extensive clean-up efforts, some long-time Avila Beach residents had to relocate. With support from then San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Peg Pinard and Avila Beach residents, Unocal agreed to include an affordable housing development as part of the clean up. This agreement ensured that displaced households would have an opportunity to return to the community.

During the application process preference was given to those who were affected by the Unocal clean-up and/or currently live or work in Avila Beach. This was in response to the community’s desire for a job-housing balance. All applicants had to meet eligibility criteria such as income level and a good credit history.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the efforts to improve the Avila Beach community by providing 29 new, well designed affordable apartments. This has been a long time coming for many local families who were anxious to see this development completed,” said Jeanette Duncan, Executive Director, Peoples’ Self-Help Housing.

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing is an award winning non-profit organization with nearly 40 years of experience developing affordable housing and community facilities for low-income and special needs households. With over 1,100 homes completed and over 1,200 rental units developed, PSHH continues to strengthen its reputation and leadership position as the premiere affordable housing and community developer on the Central Coast. PSHH is committed to developing vibrant neighborhoods, building attractive, high quality housing and providing innovative community services, so their residents have every possible opportunity to succeed in life.

For more on how to help or for more information on Peoples’ Self-Help Housing visit www.pshhc.org or call Annette Montoya at (805) 781-3088 x .