Officials and dignitaries break ground at Jardin de las Rosas
Paul Wellman

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) held a groundbreaking Wednesday at its newest low-income housing property, Jardin de las Rosas, located at 510 North Salsipuedes Street.

With new buildings and businesses coming into the area, the eastside near East Haley and N. Salsipuedes streets has seen significant changes in recent months. Sheryl Flores, Vice President of Home Ownership at PSHH, calls it “a neighborhood in transition.” Anyone making 30-60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) will qualify to live at Jardin de las Rosas, where monthly rent is expected to range from $500-900.

The event brought out some of the city’s movers and shakers, including Mayor Helene Schneider and her congressional opponent, 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal. “[Housing costs are] driving people away from the community,” said PSHH President and CEO John Fowler, “leading to longer hours in traffic for commuters, who could otherwise be with their loved ones.”

President/CEO of PSHH John Fowler (right) and board chairperson David Gustafson

Paul Wellman

According to architect Detlev Peikert, construction should take around 14 months. Residents can sign up to apply for housing about six months before that. Peikert, the founder of Peikert Group Architects, LLP., has created several other low-income housing facilities in Santa Barbara. His work on the Casas las Granadas building was honored in 2009 by Residental Architect magazine.

“It’s always a challenge for a community like Santa Barbara to embrace a project like this,” said Peikert, “but we’ve made something much more livable for people here.”

With $1.4 million in funding from the city, as well as loans from J.P. Morgan and investments from the community, the project will cost upwards of $10 million when all is said and done. That will include 40 units, at least four being set aside for homeless residents. A parking garage will be built underneath, with a community center, on-site laundry, and a youth education center.

There was some concern initially from community members over the construction’s affect on flooding, but a last-minute cancellation for an appeal to the project leaves little resistance.


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