Santa Cruz County Welcomes Affordable Workforce Housing for Families and Preserves a Historic Landmark

US Congressman Sam Farr and Supervisor Neal Coonerty join MidPen in celebrating the Grand Opening of Aptos Blue, 40 affordable apartments for families in Aptos.

Grand Opening of Aptos Blue, a Development of MidPen Housing

August 27, 2014 — Aptos, CA — On August 27th US Congressman Sam Farr, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Neal Coonerty and other state and county leaders will celebrate the Grand Opening of Aptos Blue, an affordable rental apartment community developed by MidPen Housing Corporation. Property tours begin at 2:00pm and the ceremony begins at 2:30pm at 3200 Aptos Rancho Road in Aptos, CA.

Named for the majestic Aptos Blue coastal redwoods that line its 5.5 acre perimeter, Aptos Blue provides 40 affordable rental homes for low- and very low-income individuals and families. Aptos Blue received nearly 500 applications for its 40 units – evidence of the significant need for affordable workforce housing in one of the most expensive housing markets in our nation.

“Workers who can affordably live in close proximity to where they work is what builds communities,” said US Congressman Sam Farr. “Aptos Blue helps meet this goal and demonstrates the good that happens when government, non-profits and the private sector all work together.”

“I was born and raised in this area,” said Laura Contreras, who lives at Aptos Blue with her daughter. “But as a single mom, even with a full-time job, I could barely afford renting a room let alone all of our other expenses. Living here I feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to build a home for the first time and, more importantly, a better life for myself and my daughter. I am so grateful!”

Located in close proximity to a major shopping center, public library, public transportation lines, and the beach, Aptos Blue residents can work, shop and play within walking distance to their home.

“Santa Cruz County is recognized as a leader in the creation of affordable housing,” said Matthew O. Franklin, President of MidPen Housing. “Aptos Blue is the result of this visionary leadership and MidPen is proud to expand our portfolio with this community, the eleventh we’ve developed in Santa Cruz County.”

The construction also included the renovation of the historic Castro House. Originally built in the mid-1870s by Vicente Castro, a prominent rancher and orchardist, the Castro House site is part of the former Aptos Rancho. Through the years, the home was owned by other prominent business leaders and was used to entertain well-known celebrities and politicians. In 2001, the Castro House was added to the Santa Cruz County Historic Resources Inventory for its association with the rancho period in Santa Cruz history and its distinctive representation of Colonial Revival residential architecture from the 1860s. The renovated house now serves as a community building for Aptos Blue residents and includes a meeting room with a common kitchen, and an After School Program classroom with a computer lab, as well as office space.

Aptos Blue includes 40 affordable apartments and the renovation of the historic Castro House.

Aptos Blue provides 4 studios, 4 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom, and 16 three-bedroom apartments for individuals and families earning up to 50% of Area Median Income which is $46,250 for a family of four. Built on 2.2 acres which is the developable portion of the entire 5.5 acre parcel, the community also features landscaped outdoor areas, a play area for children, and a community garden with a BBQ area. The landscaping for Aptos Blue compliments its namesake, the graceful redwoods which line its perimeter.

In partnership with a network of service providers, MidPen Resident Services Corp. coordinates and manages many onsite programs and supportive services for Aptos Blue residents including an academically-based after school and summer program for youth; financial literacy courses; vocational development; computer lab assistance; health and wellness programs and access to other community resources. MidPen Property Management Corp. provides onsite professional property management.

Financing for the $22.4M development was provided by the County of Santa Cruz, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HOME), CalHFA, Wells Fargo and the California Community Reinvestment Corporation.