The Yurok Indian Housing Authority (YIHA) will soon begin development on the Arcata 30th Street Commons Project near Alliance Road, providing the city’s first subsidized, low-income housing for tribal members.
The development plan is a slightly modified version of the 30th Street Commons project, which was approved by the city in 2007 and put on hold due to a lack of funds. The YIHA bought the property in 2019 and now, thanks to an $11.4 million Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant, has procured the funding to begin moving forward with the project.
“The fact that the tribe was awarded [the grant] is huge,” YIHA Executive Director Nicole Sager told the Outpost over a phone interview Tuesday. This is the first time a Native American tribe was awarded this grant since California extended state housing funding to tribal entities through Assembly Bill 1010, Sager said.
Development plans include 36 housing units — a mix of multi-unit buildings, single family buildings and one bedroom accessory dwelling (in-law) units — and will provide housing for upwards of 72 low-income residents. Yurok tribal members will have first priority for the housing, Sager said, but available units may also go to members of other tribes, or other low-income applicants.
At least 60 percent of the development’s energy will be renewable and produced on-site by solar panels, Sager said. Plans also include Zagster community bicycle stations, a Zipcar program for the residents and several community gardens on the site.
As part of the agreement with the city, plans include several alternative transportation improvements, including construction of a sidewalk and bicycle path along 30th Street and construction of a portion of the Annie and Mary Trail through the Janes Creek area. The housing complex will connect to the trail by way of a pedestrian path and bridge.
With the project likely creating additional need for public transportation, plans also propose the creation of a new bus line — the Green Line — and residents will be provided with three years of bus passes.
Developer Development Director David Loya said the city is very excited to see development moving forward on this long-vacant property and that this project will benefit the community through the transportation improvements and construction of trails.
“It’s a big win for affordable housing and it’s a huge win for the city,” Loya told the Outpost.
Because the original plans were approved in 2007, Loya said, the project will not need to go before the Planning Commission again. Though the site plan has been slightly modified, it will not require additional approval from the city.
Infrastructure development should begin on the site in November, Sager told the Outpost, and housing construction will begin in 2021.
Sager said it took the involvement of many tribal, local and state agencies to help YIHA secure the necessary grant funding and wanted to acknowledge the work of the Yurok Tribal Council, the YIHA Board and the City of Arcata for working together to make this project a reality.
“Hopefully this is just the beginning of working towards helping our communities and meeting the needs for low income housing,” Sager said.
CORRECTION: Because of an editor’s boneheaded mistake, the headline for this story originally misstated the number of units included in this project. It has been corrected. — Boneheaded Ed.
Also, this article originally misstated Arcata Community Development Director David Loya’s title and it has been corrected. Man, this editor is really a bonehead.