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Casa Grande upgrade calls for $16 million
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The city of Ceres was asked to assist in keeping Casa Grande Apartments, a large low-income apartment complex in Ceres, in the Section 8 program.

Jay Samuel of Intercontinental Affordable Housing, Inc., told the City Council on Aug. 11 that his company is in the process of purchasing the complex from Willow Apartments. Plans are to rehabilitate the 100 units - constructed in 1971 - as well as add 36 new units.

Intercontinental plans to seek issuance of $16 million of tax-exempt private bonds to do the rehabilitation. The bonds would be issued through the California Statewide Communities Development Authority, or CSCDA.

The company, said Samuel, is signing a 20-year agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to keep the apartments affordable as Section 8 housing.

The city of Ceres approved the company seeking the bonds only as a matter of formality for IRS purposes. The city, however, is not on the hook for repayment of the debt.

Bryan Briggs, the city's Redevelopment and Economic Development manager, said that the facility is in need of upgrades since there has been "considerable deferred maintenance."

The city expects that Intercontinental will be seeking some financing through the Ceres Redevelopment Agency. The CRA has a pot of money called "housing set aside" because state law requires that 20 percent of revenue received by the agency be set aside for affordable housing.

Casa Grande Apartments is located on Della Avenue a block east of Mitchell Road.