The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved funding for the first phase of a plan for affordable housing for residents of the hazard-plagued Oasis Mobile Home Park near Thermal.
The board approved the allocation of $7 million for phase 1 of the Oasis Villas Apartments. Officials said the complex will create new affordable and safe housing opportunities for families living at Oasis Mobile Home Park and in dilapidated housing in the eastern Coachella Valley.
Oasis Villas is planned to be built in the community of Oasis at Avenue 66 and Middleton Street.
Phase 1 of the community will include 80 apartment homes, followed by Phase 2 with another 80 apartments and Phase 3 will add a 24,000-square-foot commercial space that envisions an on-site market, health clinic, and child care center, according to the county.
Other amenities that will be included at Oasis Villas are a community room, computer lab, swimming pool, tot lots, and sports courts.
The $7 million is from a $30 million state grant Riverside County received to provide relocation assistance to over 200 families, nearly 1,100 individuals, living at the Oasis Mobile Home Park which is located on tribe land near Thermal.
"This is a huge positive and a significant investment to help build new housing in Oasis," said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. "Families who have been struggling at Oasis Mobile Home Park and in other dilapidated housing want to move out and they want a better quality of life. Advancing the plans for Oasis Villas will provide new housing that will help many eastern Coachella Valley residents improve their quality of life."
The funding was secured by State Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia to be included in last year’s state budget.
Residents in the Oasis Mobile Home Park have been without safe, clean water for nearly two years.
Since August 2019, the EPA has issued three emergency orders at the Oasis Mobile Home Park due to high levels of cancer-causing arsenic.
The Oasis MHP isn't the only area affected by the issue. As I-Team investigator Peter Daut learned last month, more than 115 communities in the eastern Coachella Valley affected.
Since November, the EPA found water containing arsenic levels above federal legal limits in at least seven mobile home parks.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates on this issue.