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Plan could lead to home sales by summer

March 08, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The Housing Authority could formally approve a plan that would clear the way for residents of Casas del Sol projects to buy the homes they now rent.

Executive Director Lupita Rios said if the authority board approves the plan at its meeting tonight, the first sale could take place this summer.

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the council chambers.

Jesus "Chuy" Solano, a Housing Authority commissioner, said Wednesday that plans have been submitted a number of times over the past eight years to the U.S. Department of Urban Housing and Development office in Los Angeles but not one home has been sold.

"There is no proof that the plan is right this time," he said.

The plan is called an implementation plan and it specifies exactly for HUD officials how the sale of the Casas homes will be carried out.


The housing authority has tried to get its plan approved before but HUD has sent it back to be reworked or corrected.

Rios said the delay was caused by changes HUD has made to the rules and requirements of the programs the housing authority must abide by.

The program is called the 5H Home Ownership Program.

It was drafted as an alternate option to the HOPE 1 program, when Casas del Sol received a planning grant in 1992.

The eight-year wait for HUD to approve the plan for home sales is the reason some members of the Housing Authority board and Casas residents want the entire board replaced.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting a hearing was set for March 20 to determine if individual members of the board will be ousted or if the whole board will be replaced with the council.

Rios said she appreciates the opportunity to present evidence to deny allegations that the authority has not moved quickly enough to sell the homes.

She said the controversy has distracted her and members of the board from other projects.

One of the projects that will be discussed at the meeting is the new Victoria Manor senior housing project.

Rios said it will be an apartment complex built on the east side of town that will feature a number of amenities and access for the handicapped.

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