An affordable housing project in Santa Maria has faced ongoing controversy because of the people who will soon live there.
Construction began last August on the Rancho Hermosa development in the 100 block of Inger Drive. The 47-unit complex will provide housing for people battling mental illness and substance abuse. Some housing is also set aside for low income families and the disabled, but some who live nearby are concerned their future neighbors could stir up trouble.
They didn’t know people with mental illnesses were going to be living near them until shovels were already in the ground. Since then, the housing authority has held two community meetings to try and calm the concerns.
It’s the future home for some of most vulnerable families in our community. The three bedroom condos will house some graduates from the Good Samaritan shelter. Many lost their kids while battling drug and alcohol abuse and this is an opportunity for a reunion.
“We anticipate there will be a number of families with kids and it will be there first opportunity to be together,” said John Polanskey, Director of Housing Development for Santa Barbara County.
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