Santa Ana redevelopment project is highly questionable

One of the last things I did as a Santa Ana Housing and Redevelopment Commissioner was vote against a proposal by a development group to purchase and renovate some apartments in the Townsend area of Santa Ana. The idea was a good one, but this group wanted to fund virtually the entire project with loans from the City of Santa Ana. Similar projects have been funded in other cities with a combination of loans, bonds and other funds.

The O.C. Register is now reporting that this same group is now petitioning the Santa Ana City Council to approve the project. “To afford those loans, the city would drain one of its affordable-housing funds and use about half the money it had set aside in a second fund this year.”

The fund in question is not supposed to be used in this manner. That is why the current Chair of the Santa Ana Housing & Redevelopment Commission, Deborah Vasquez, opposed it. It was also opposed by Louis Rodriguez. He has since left the Commission, as I did when I resigned in protest of the dismissal of Thomas Gordon from the City’s EPIC/Gang Commission.

If the City of Santa Ana is going to fund virtually the entire cost of this project, which comes to about $9 million, why does it need the development group in question, “C&C Development and the Orange Housing Development Corporation?” How much is C&C going to make on this? You can find out more about OHDC, at this link.

It has also come to my attention that some of the other projects run by this development group have not panned out well. They make a lot of promises about stopping crime in their units, but one pajarito told me that a prostitution ring was being run out of one of their properties. Well, at least they aren’t running a massage parlor, or the City of Santa Ana would really crack down on them!

I have heard that Councilman David Benavides really wants this project to go forward, as it is in his ward. My guess is that the City Council will approve it to placate him and to pay him back for being such a good puppet of the Mayor, Miguel Pulido. The item will be voted on at tomorrow’s City Council meeting.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.