Crowded chambers for Rancho subdivision discussion

SOLEDAD — A packed house with homeowners and residents from the Rancho San Vicente Subdivision showed their support for a change in restrictions of their CHISPA homes at the Soledad City Council meeting on Jan. 3.

The City of Soledad was approached to reduce or eliminate the resale restriction on the Rancho San Vicente homeowners subdivision. According to City Attorney Michael Rodriguez, the resale restriction was part of a statute imposed against the properties in 2003 as a result of redevelopment agencies contribution.

“It’s meant to control the price of the homes and the resale price of the homes,” Rodriguez said. “To continue to make them available to very low, low and moderate income households.”

The homeowners have had some problems with the administration of the resale restriction since 2011.

“It is an 82-unit subdivision, 45 of the homes were built through CHISPA’s mutual self-help program and 37 were built under a moderate income program,” said Alfred Diaz-Infante, president of CHISPA. “Those 37 units were built through CHISPA subsidiary General Construction and Company.”

The 45 homes with the mutual self-help were built by families that takes them 11 to 12 months and contribute 75 percent of the labor.

“We ask that you consider amending the restriction to 20 years from 45 per families’ request,” said Diaz-Infante. “We feel that it is fair and equitable.”

A student of Soledad High School also spoke out about the restriction and said it was bringing a lot of stress to her family.

“Now that I’m planning to attend a university this fall, I am aware that my family will require a lot of extra spending,” she said. “My dad has tried time and time again to refinance our home so that we can pay a lower interest rate, but his attempts have continually been rejected.”

The Rancho San Vicente homeowners also said they felt like renters, not homeowners, because they can’t make changes to their homes and they cannot leave these homes as an inheritance to their sons or daughters because they have to qualify to be able to own this home.

Mayor Fred Ledesma gave direction to staff to work with CHISPA and try to resolve the matter with the residents.

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