Watsonville Celebrates Long-Awaited Affordable Workforce Housing for Families

Grand Opening at Schapiro Knolls, a Development of MidPen Housing

MidPen Housing and county leaders come together to celebrate the Grand Opening of Schapiro Knolls.

October 18, 2013 — Watsonville, CA — On Friday, October 18th, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Greg Caput will join other city and county leaders to celebrate the Grand Opening of Schapiro Knolls, an affordable rental community developed by MidPen Housing. Property tours begin at 11:00am and the ceremony begins at 11:30am at 33 Minto Road, Watsonville, CA 95076.

Schapiro Knolls received nearly 1,400 applications for the community’s 88 affordable rental apartment homes – evidence of the tremendous need for workforce housing in Watsonville. The community includes extensive exterior and interior common space which provides a fitness center, a computer room, a classroom for the after school youth program, a picnic/BBQ area, a children’s play ground, a community garden, and a large grassy area where children play soccer and other games most every afternoon.

“After years of envisioning and planning, I’m thrilled to finally celebrate the completion of this vibrant community,” said Greg Caput, 4th District Santa Cruz County Supervisor. “Schapiro Knolls provides much needed affordable housing for our hard-working families in Watsonville and the property, which is beautifully and sustainably designed, will be an asset to our county for decades to come.”

Named in honor of Erik Schapiro, who worked in housing for Santa Cruz County for 22 years and was the County Housing Chief from 2004 – 2011, Schapiro Knolls is the first site completed under the county’s plan to re-zone key sites for higher-density. Erik was one of the county leaders who helped spearhead the effort to ensure that these sites would provide 100% affordable housing.

“Santa Cruz County is recognized as a leader in creating affordable housing,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “We applaud their vision and fortitude and are proud to partner with them on Schapiro Knolls.”

Set against the backdrop of the Santa Cruz foothills, Schapiro Knolls expects to achieve a 150 GreenPoint Rating, with sustainable features that include a Photovoltaic system (solar panels) to offset the community’s common electricity costs, drought-tolerant landscaping, Energy Star appliances and high efficiency lighting. The construction of the community is also paired with offsite improvements, including a new traffic signal and sidewalks, which benefits the whole neighborhood.

Schapiro Knolls, 88 affordable apartments for families in Watsonville.

Schapiro Knolls provides homes for households with incomes between 30% and 50% of Area Median Income which is between $27,750 and $46,250 for a family of four. The community includes 22 one-bedroom, 31 two-bedroom, 28 three-bedroom and 7 four-bedroom units – a total of 88 apartments and townhouses – on 6.9 acres. Rents range from $488 for the least expensive one-bedroom unit to $1,323 for the most expensive four-bedroom unit.

In partnership with a network of service providers, MidPen Resident Services manages many onsite services including an after school program for youth residents and adult programs which include financial literacy courses, computer training, career development and health and wellness programs. MidPen Property Management provides professional, onsite property management.

Financing for the $32.7M development was provided by the County of Santa Cruz, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HOME), the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, and Union Bank.