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Affordable housing units coming to Palm Desert

According to the latest census data, Riverside County is one of the fastest growing communities in the country. And with more people moving to the valley, the higher the need grows for additional affordable housing units.

It's an issue News Channel Three has been reporting for years, and several local leaders and developers agree.

"There's been a large demographic shift," said Mark Bigley, with UHC Communities. "And so with that comes a lot of people, and people do need housing.”

That's why Bigley is working on several projects to meet that need.

“We recently finished the veteran's village of Cathedral City Development, which is on Landau Boulevard nearby the Salvation Army over there," said Bigley. "That's a 60 unit development for veterans who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness. We also have a horizons in Indio, which is a senior focused development. And then we're working on a couple of other things with our partner cities out there in the desert.”

Building more affordable housing is something he says is vital for people working in and around the Coachella Valley.

"The tourism and hospitality industries are thankfully booming, and lot of those of the workers need to find somewhere to live that they can afford."

Karina Quintanilla, the Mayor of the City of Palm Desert agrees.

“I'm looking forward to having conversations with people about having workforce housing," she said. "People hear the term affordable housing, and it seems to be a negative idea, but its not. When we realize we have to have people that work nearby, we also have to have a place for our workforce to live.”

Currently there are 1,011 affordable units planned for Palm Desert, including a 176-unit housing development planned for north Palm Desert. The project is planned for the corner of Dick Kelly Drive and Gate Drive.

"Out of the 176 units, part of that will be reserved for those that are living within 30% below the average median income, and another set for those that are under 60%," said Mayor Quintanilla.

When Planning the location of these developments, Bigley says he and the city look at things like access, local services, and nearby amenities like schools.

“We always look to partner with local service providers," said Bigley. "In this case, we're partnering with the Family YMCA Desert to help us with after school programs. We also look for ease of access. So obviously, the I-10 is right up in Monterrey that's very accessible to anyone that might be going to work.”

Renderings show the 10-building property will consist of one, two, and three bedroom units. The property will also have a community center, a pool and patio, BBQ and picnic areas, and a tot lot for kids. It will also have a community garden and dog park.

The project is set to be complete by November of 2025.

For more information about current housing projects being built around the county click here. If you or anyone you know are interested in applying for a unit in Palm Desert, or want to find more information head to this website.

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Tori King


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