Why does CHISPA develop affordable housing?

CHISPA develops affordable housing because of the great need in Monterey County. Despite the great wealth in the Valley and on the Monterey Peninsula, many hard-working people spend over 30% of their monthly income on rent and utilities. This can leave people living paycheck-to-paycheck. Due to the high cost of living, and abundance of lower paying jobs, CHISPA helps to fill the demand for affordable housing.

What is affordable housing?

Housing is considered affordable if it costs no more than 30% of the monthly household income for rent and utilities.

If your household income is $60,000 a year, you should pay no more than $1,500 monthly for your mortgage or rent and utilities. If you make $12.00 per hour, you should be paying no more than $624 a month in rent and utilities.

Housing in Monterey County is among the most expensive in the nation, so many people pay more than 30% of their income for housing.  Relatively low-paying sales, service and agricultural jobs dominate the local employment market.

545 E Market

545 W. Market Street, Salinas (Before Purchase and Renovation by CHISPA)

Why is affordable housing important?

Most of us know someone who is struggling to afford adequate housing.

Affordable housing serves families, seniors, and people with disabilities.  Affordable housing provides a stepping-stone for young families, a stable place for vulnerable community members, and a cost-effective living situation for people with special needs.  The housing can be ownership or rental, a single-family home or an apartment building.  CHISPA has constructed over 762 single family homes and more than 1,364 rental homes.

In addition to providing stable living situations for low-income people, CHISPA’s affordable rental developments typically include community centers where activities are held for residents.  Activities are targeted to the specific needs of the residents and may include computer classes, health screenings, after-school programs, parenting programs, and adult literacy education.  These activities empower residents to take an interest in their neighborhood, advocate for themselves and improve the lives of their families.

How does CHISPA develop affordable housing?

A typical CHISPA apartment building is financed with multiple “layers” of financing, including:

  • Equity from corporations who get a tax credit on their income taxes for investing in affordable housing;
  • Bank loans and mortgages;
  • State loan programs designed to fund affordable housing;
  • Redevelopment funds from local cities and counties designated to develop affordable housing.

The equity from private corporations and low-interest government loans enable CHISPA to maintain the apartment buildings and pay the interest on its private loans, while keeping the rents permanently affordable.

CHISPA: 545 E Market

545 E Market (After Purchase and Renovation by CHISPA)