Dozens Of Families Displaced As Sierra Vista Construction Set To Begin

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Close to 30 families living in south Stockton are looking for a new place to live as construction at the Sierra Vista public housing is set to begin.

The redevelopment comes after the Housing Authority of the County of San Joaquin is awarded $24 million in low-income housing tax credits.

For more than a decade Georgia Brownlee has lived at Sierra Vista, the oldest multi-family public housing development in south Stockton.

“I grew up out here as a child. Moved from here in 89 to the Bay Area, and then I moved back with my grandparents,” she said.

Brownlee is one of 27 families soon to be displaced when construction crews begin tearing down these 70-year-old homes as part of a $34 million redevelopment project. It’s a welcome sight for many residents who have experience not so good housing conditions.

“When it’s hot, it’s hot in there, and things tend to break down a lot in the units. They will come and repair them, but it will only last for a little while, then they have to come back so it’s a lot of back and forth,” said Brownlee.

The housing authority previously demolished 36 units in 14 buildings back in 2015. This year, it plans to demolish 67 and replace them with 115 one- to four-bedroom, modern and energy-efficient units.

“Stockton has some of the fastest rising rents in the nation, and certainly for California. As you know, sort of the Bay Area has gotten crazy. The reality is its more affordable to rent here so, you’re seeing tremendous pressure on people that are already in the rental market here,” said Peter Ragsdale, executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of San Joaquin.

In addition to the units, the redevelopment of Sierra Vista includes a large community center, a swimming pool and a playground, all the amenities leaders with the housing authority say people need in their lives regardless of income to have a good quality of life.

“I’m excited. I’m ready for them to go with it,” said Brownlee.

Families displaced during construction are being placed within the housing authority and will be able to move in soon after the units are built.

“Both the state of California, and HUD require comparable assistance so, some people will be offered units on site, some people will be offered a unit at another one of our properties either here in Stockton or other places in the counties where we have apartments, or they will be offered a housing choice voucher,” said Ragsdale.

The Housing Authority of the County of San Joaquin is planning to shut down this area in November with demolition and construction to start in December.

More from Carlos Correa
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