New Way Homes has made a “First Projects Development Loan” to Envision I, LLC to help fund the early-stage development work to initiate one or more projects consistent with the New Way Homes mission. The two specific projects furthest along are described below.
Permanent Supportive Housing
Building: The orange area at right is the proposed 4-story building on the campus containing several organizations that serve homeless individuals and families. 60–90 small, 1-person units with community space would be built over parking and program space for the River Street Shelter and Recuperative Care Center.
Background: It is a nationally recognized best practice for communities to have a permanent supportive housing residential building co-located with coordinated services for the most housing-challenged of the chronic homeless population. This is an essential compliment to the scattered-site approach for assisting the majority of homeless individuals and families into housing, but it is not something that exists in Santa Cruz County.
Mixed-Use Downtown Re-Development
Site: Up to 3.9 acres in the center of downtown Watsonville. The majority of the site is owned by the City, while the project developer, Envision Housing, is under contract to purchase the private portion.
Building: Current concepts include 200-500+ residential units in 5-6-story towers over parking, retail along Main Street, and new government space.
Background: Downtown Watsonville has been underdeveloped since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The City approached Envision Housing to jointly explore details of a potential project on this site. Watsonville has extraordinary unmet demand for workforce housing; meeting this need with density downtown would re-energize the vitality of that commercial district and its community spaces.
Status: Envision Housing and Watsonville staff are working together to explore project concepts, potential agreements, and the process required to make planning changes for downtown Watsonville that would enable this project. Those processes are likely to continue throughout 2017.