March 2009

Media Contact: Rochelle Rose, Fund Development Director, (805) 962-5152 x227 rocheller@pshhc.org or
Annette Montoya, Corporate Communications Manager, (805) 781-3088 x annettem@pshhc.org

March 18, 2009

Peoples' Self-Help Housing Celebrates Grand Opening of
29 New Affordable Apartments In Avila Beach, Fri., March 27

Peoples' Self-Help Housing invites the community to celebrate the Grand Opening of Lachen Tara Apartments, a 29-unit permanently affordable apartment complex 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. The celebration will take place on Friday, March 27, at 11 a.m. Attendees are asked to park in the public parking area on First Street where they will then be shuttled to the site.

The complex includes eight studios, 18 one-bedroom, and three two-bedroom units. All applicants had to meet eligibility criteria such as income level and a good credit history. Four units are reserved for farm workers and eight units are reserved for people with special needs. Preference is given to households affected by the Unocal clean-up and/or people working in Avila Beach. Rents range from $400 to $700.

The housing development is now fully occupied, and families have settled in to their brand new affordable units, nearly 20 years after the original discovery of contamination in Avila. Avila Beach had been home to a Unocal tank farm and oil transport operation from the early 1900's to the 1980's. 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. Due to the extensive clean-up efforts, some long-time Avila Beach residents had to relocate.

Through the negotiations of then San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Peg Pinard, who was supported by affected Avila residents, Unocal agreed to include property for an affordable housing project as part of the clean up. This agreement ensured that displaced households would have an opportunity to return to the community and supported the community's desire for a job-housing balance. Once the agreement was in place Peoples' Self-Help Housing was chosen as the developer and ultimately the property management agent for the new complex.

"We are thrilled to be a part of 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 information on how to help or general inquiries about Peoples' Self-Help Housing programs visit www.pshhc.org or call Annette Montoya at (805) 781-3088 x .