VISTA, CA—Federal, state and local leaders celebrated the groundbreaking of Community HousingWorks‘ new affordable apartment community this week.

Situated on a 1.4 acre site, the new construction will provide 68 apartment homes to lower income working families, with 10 apartments set aside for transition-age youth who are aging out of foster care, with North County Lifeline as service provider.

Scheduled speakers, including Judy Ritter, Mayor of Vista, and Sue Reynolds, President of CHW. Multiple public and private community partners came together in funding this new development, with permanent and construction financing as well as Low Income Housing Tax Credit investment provided by Union Bank; Ground Lease from the City of Vista; Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the City of Carlsbad; and additional funding from NeighborWorks.

“Union Bank is pleased to serve as a partner with Community HousingWorks and the City of Vista in the development of North Santa Fe Apartments for working families in the community,” said executive VP Annette Billingsley, head of Union Bank’s Community Development Finance division. “It is gratifying to support Community HousingWorks in providing this important transit-oriented development that will serve the lives of its residents and the greater Vista community. This marks our seventh financing partnership with Community HousingWorks.”

North Santa Fe Apartments are part of Vista’s Downtown Specific Plan, realizing the city’s vision for the revitalization of the downtown area as a pedestrian-oriented village. The development will be located in the central area of the city across from the North Santa Fe Transit Station where residents will have access to the SPRINTER train and Breeze bus lines.

“Providing lower income residents with easy access to public transit was a significant factor in the plans for this development,” said Sue Reynolds, President, CHW. “With rising gas prices, car insurance costs, and expensive repairs, it is crucial that families have alternative options for reaching their jobs, schools, and other resources.”

Consistent with CHW’s commitment to sustainability, North Santa Fe Apartments is designed and will be built as an energy-efficient development. Plans include the use of “green” and recycled building materials, Energy Star appliances, high efficiency fixtures, “cool” roofs, and upgraded insulation. The landscaping will utilize drought tolerant and native plants in order to conserve water. Thermal solar hot water will augment the gas-fired central boiler is expected to save at least 50% of energy use compared to a standard system.

Designed to be energy- and water-efficient with rooftop solar thermal, North Santa Fe Apartments is part of the Green Point Rated certification program. The design includes three stories of apartments set on a concrete podium over subterranean parking with a 2,500 sf community building which will include the leasing office, a learning center, computer room, reading nook, and a community meeting room with a full kitchen. Additional amenities include bike racks, garden, barbeque area and a laundry located adjacent to the patio and tot lot so parents can oversee children at play while doing the wash. Construction is scheduled to be completed in summer 2015.