Partnership Makes Chico Affordable Housing Possible
Pictured (Top to bottom, left to right): Don Taylor (Housing and Homelessness Administrator, Butte County), Brendan Vieg (Community Development Director, City of Chico), Seana O’Shaughnessy (President and CEO, CHIP), Tod Kimmelshue (District 4 Supervisor, Butte County), Andy Holcombe (Chairman of the Board, CHIP), Scott Kennelly (Director of Butte County Department of Behavioral Health), Kris Zappettini (VP and Senior Project Manager, CHIP), Marie Demers (Housing Manager, City of Chico), Alex Brown (Councilmember, City of Chico), Kasey Reynolds (Vice Mayor, City of Chico), Ed Mayer (Executive Director, Housing Authority of the County of Butte).
Construction began at Creekside Place, a 101-unit affordable housing community on Notre Dame Boulevard. The project represents what is possible when a community works together toward a common goal.
Local developer, Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), along with the City of Chico, Butte County Department of Behavioral Health, Butte County Department of Employment and Social Services, and The Housing Authority of the County of Butte (HACB) worked closely together to make Creekside Place a reality. This unique property is designed to reflect the critical housing needs of the community. The property will serve very low-income seniors 62 years of age and older, with 15 of the units reserved for seniors who are experiencing serious mental health illness and homelessness, chronic homelessness, or at risk of homelessness.
Collaboration between the various organizations was vital to get a project like Creekside Place from concept to completion. Kris Zappettini, CHIP’s VP and Senior Project Manager, says “When contemplating this project, the idea of partnering with other successful and talented local agencies who serve our target population made sense. We were able to combine services and financial resources that strengthened the project’s success for funding and long-term assistance for the residents.”
Chico’s Housing Manager Marie Demers shared, “This has been a team effort from the start and the City was pleased to facilitate the use of city-owned property, as well as Affordable Housing Funds and federal HOME and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, to support this much needed affordable senior housing project.”
Scott Kennelly, Director of Butte County Behavioral Health, added, “We are very excited to see that Creekside Place construction is now underway. A significant amount of work, dedication, and collaboration between Behavioral Health, CHIP, the City of Chico, DESS, and the Housing Authority has made this possible. While there continues to be a shortage of affordable housing in Butte County, and most of the State, the Creekside Place project demonstrates the ongoing commitment to secure funding for affordable housing for those in need, including seniors living with mental illness.”
Ed Mayer, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Butte County, noted “CHIP is to be commended for its leadership and vision in organizing the partnership that brings this important affordable housing development to extremely-low income seniors and No Place Like Home program participants. The project-basing of 100 Section 8 Vouchers provides housing opportunity in a community still impacted by the presence of those displaced by the Camp Fire Disaster.”
Increasing affordable housing units in Chico has been a top priority for the community ever since the Camp Fire. In addition to the Fire’s impact, the pandemic has also contributed to driving housing prices up, making affordability even more of a challenge. Zappettini notes, “Seniors were especially hit hard by the Camp Fire and they are considered a marginalized population. As this cohort ages, the need for housing options that they can afford increases.”
In May, bulldozers went to work on the empty field next across from Marsh Junior High, preparing the plot of land for construction to begin. Construction is projected to finish by December 2022.
Interested households can learn more about Creekside Place on CHIP’s website at chiphousing.org. Applications will be available later when the property is closer to completion.
About Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP)
Since 1973, CHIP has developed more than 2,700 affordable housing units in its seven-county service area, which includes Butte, Glenn, Tehama, Colusa, Shasta, Yuba, and Sutter Counties. CHIP also partners with other agencies to provide on-site resident social and educational services to those who live in CHIP’s rental housing. CHIP is a network member of NeighborWorks America. www.chiphousing.org
About the City of Chico
Chico is a Northern California city in the Sacramento Valley, whose population grew by nearly 20,000 residents overnight due to the devastation of the Camp Fire in the nearby Town of Paradise. This city of 110,000 has a history of partnering with affordable housing developers to increase the stock of housing available to lower income community members. The City utilizes all available housing funds to facilitate production of housing affordable to low-and moderate-income households to reach the goals set forth in the Housing Element of the General Plan and the HUD Consolidated Plan for use of the federal housing and community development funds.