Campus: CSU, Fullerton -- June 04, 2001

Affordable Housing to Become Reality for CSUF Faculty and Staff

Taking a significant step closer to offering affordable housing to its faculty and staff members, Cal State Fullerton will break ground on an 86-home development in Buena Park at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 6.

Situated on eight acres at the corner of Malvern Avenue and Dale Street, the $17 million effort - named University Gables - will comprise 56 single-family residences and 30 townhouses priced from the mid-$100,000s for attached homes to the low- to mid-$200,000s for detached residences. Completion of the project is scheduled for late summer 2002.

Working in partnership with Cal State Fullerton and the city of Buena Park to bring University Gables to fruition are the county of Orange, Orange County Flood Control District, Orange County Affordable Housing Homeownership Alliance and community developer Ambling West.

Surveys conducted over the years have shown a consistent demand for affordable housing from 300 or more CSUF faculty and staff members. With student enrollment steadily increasing, the demand for affordable housing, also is expected to grow.

The project became possible when the Buena Park Redevelopment Agency acquired 12 acres from the Orange County Flood Control District - eight acres of which have been transferred to the Cal State Fullerton Housing Authority. This special-purpose auxiliary was established to oversee the development of affordable housing for the university. The other four acres are earmarked for development of a Metrolink train station and parking. An approximate half-acre parcel has been set aside for future expansion of the Metrolink station parking, or for a proposed day-care center designed to serve the needs of the surrounding community.

"This is a huge victory for Cal State Fullerton because it will help us to continue to attract the best and brightest faculty and staff," said Jay Bond, associate vice president, facilities management at CSUF. "Every year we have faculty positions that go unfilled because candidates made housing costs the determining factor."

Dr. Donald B. Crane, professor of finance and chair of the university's Affordable Housing Task Force, echoed Bond's enthusiasm. "Over the years, we have had a number of pieces of property that we've pursued vigorously, but circumstances always arose, such as changes in market conditions or opposition by local residents to development of previously undeveloped land," Crane said. "None of the projects we pursued came to fruition.

"This is our first victory," he noted, "and credit goes to President Milton A. Gordon, CSUF Foundation Executive Director Bill Dickerson, the group of professionals hired to work on the project and task force members."

The below-market prices do not include ownership of the land itself, only the houses. To ensure that the housing continues to be affordable to members of the CSUF community, owners must agree to abide by resale restrictions.

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