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Palm Springs affordable housing community secures $21M from state

A new Palm Springs community has secured $21 million from the state to develop what officials say is the first affordable housing complex to be built in the city in more than a decade.

The Monarch Apartment Homes is set to be built on a more than 3.5-acre lot on the north end of the city, at the corner of Indian Canyon Drive and San Rafael Place.

"This is a new way to look at affordable housing," said Joy Silver, Southern California's regional director of the nonprofit affordable housing developer Community Housing Opportunities Corp., AKA "CHOC."

Silver said while the housing at The Monarch will be affordable, it is not cheap. The $29 million project includes one, two and three bedroom apartments for working families and individuals. She said they have been designed to match the Palm Springs aesthetic.

"The monarch itself of course refers to the butterfly roofs which we use," Silver said. "We have a monarch splash pad for children to play in."

CHOC secured $21 million in funding from the state via affordable housing tax credits. Silver said it was a highly competitive process.

"CHOC did not simply compete with the Coachella Valley or even Riverside," she said. "It competed within the whole state of California."

Lift to Rise CEO Heather Vaikona said housing supply is running low across the state. It's projects like The Monarch, she said, that are necessary to meet some of that demand, especially for working people.

"The really hardworking low-income workforce that drive our tourism service sector hospitality and agricultural economy – frankly those folks are priced out of the housing market," Vaikona said.

She said it's crucial to have housing for those groups in close proximity to where they work. "A lot of the low-income folks that are driving our economy can't afford to live close to where they work and that has a huge impact," Vaikona said.

She added while The Monarch is a small start, it would take "tens and tens of thousands" of affordable housing units to alleviate a significant portion of local housing insecurity.

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Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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