SAN BERNARDINO >> Up to three more modular houses will be built on lots already owned by the city and sold to first-time homebuyers, thanks to an agreement the City Council approved Wednesday night.

The partnership with Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services will use $650,000 worth of HOME funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and no money from the city’s general fund.

It follows another vote in September, bringing the total commitment to the program to $1,275,000, according to a report given to the council before the 6-0 vote. Councilman Fred Shorett, who sits on the board of the nonprofit developer, left the room for the discussion and vote.

Once built, the homes will be sold to first-time homebuyers whose annual income does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income — no more than $50,560 — adjusted for household size.

The units will be designed for lower long-term costs by installing solar panels, energy efficient appliances and drought tolerant landscaping, according to the agreement.

“A major emphasis of the city’s Consolidated Plan and Housing Element, approved by the mayor and city council on April 6, 2015, is to ensure that persons of all walks of life have opportunities to find suitable and affordable housing in San Bernardino,” read a report from the city’s housing consultant, Edward Flores. “The Infill Housing Program will allow the city to take blighted and/or underutilized residential properties within the city and turn them into quality and energy efficient housing for qualified low- and moderate-income households.”

Also Wednesday, the City Council unanimously passed a budget for the 2017-18 year. The budget, discussed in a series of workshops, received no further discussion Wednesday.

The city plans general fund spending just short of $120 million, which works out to a small surplus.

An additional budget of $22.6 million for capital improvement projects, such as street repairs and a streetlight program, also was approved.

Article credit:  http://www.sbsun.com/government-and-politics/20170622/san-bernardino-will-build-affordable-modular-homes-on-city-owned-plots

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