Much Needed Affordable Workforce Housing for Families Underway in Watsonville

Wall Raising Ceremony at Pippin Orchards, a Development of MidPen Housing

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City and County leaders join MidPen in celebrating the Wall Raising / Framing for Pippin Orchards in Watsonville.

Santa Cruz County Supervisor Greg Caput, Watsonville Mayor Oscar Rios and other city and county leaders celebrated the construction of Pippin Orchards, an affordable rental apartment community being developed by MidPen Housing Corporation.

Pippin Orchards is the result of a multi-jurisdictional collaboration. Of the 46 apartment homes, 20 are located within Watsonville city limits while 26 are situated on unincorporated Santa Cruz County land. The development is being designed and built to operate seamlessly as one community for 46 hardworking individuals and families in southern Santa Cruz County.

“Pippin Orchards is a testimony to what can be accomplished when cities and counties work together in innovative ways,” said Jan Lindenthal, Vice President of Real Estate Development for MidPen Housing. “It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with both the City of Watsonville and the County of Santa Cruz on their vision for this site and we’re excited that construction is underway.”

Located within a quarter mile of Freedom Boulevard, one of Watsonville’s main thoroughfares and one of the County’s “High Quality Transit Corridors” as identified in the Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, Pippin Orchards will provide its residents with easy access to retail centers, healthcare facilities, schools, and many other amenities.

“Pippin Orchards brings much needed affordable workforce housing to our county,” said Greg Caput, Santa Cruz County Supervisor. “With such close proximity to public transportation, shopping, restaurants, a public park, and a County clinic, Pippin Orchards residents will be able to work, shop and play within walking distance to their home which also benefits the environment. I’m excited to see this plan become a reality and I look forward to its completion.”

Expected to welcome residents in fall 2018, Pippin Orchards will provide 3 one-bedroom, 29 two-bedroom, and 14 three-bedroom apartment homes for individuals and families earning up to 60% of Area Median Income which for is $60,120 for a four-person household. Six units will be reserved for individuals with disabilities and their families, who will receive supportive services from the San Andreas Regional Center and Housing Choices, a social service agency that enhances the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.

Pippin Orchards residents will also enjoy a computer lab, bicycle storage space, a children’s playground, an open courtyard with a BBQ, community planters for gardens, and a community room with a kitchen.

MidPen Services Corp. will coordinate and manage onsite programs and services for all Pippin Orchards community members including an academically-based after school program for youth, financial capabilities courses, vocational development, computer labs and assistance, health and wellness programs, and access to other community resources. MidPen Property Management Corp. will provide professional property management onsite.

Financing for the $29.1M development was provided by the City of Watsonville, the County of Santa Cruz, the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, and MUFG Union Bank.