Saturday, February 27, 2021     Volume: 21, Issue: 52

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on September 1st, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 27 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 27

New apartments could increase Guadalupe's population, alleviate housing shortages

By Malea Martin

The city of Guadalupe’s population size could grow by the hundreds in the near future thanks to new housing developments that are set to receive occupancy clearance this month.

Peoples’ Self-Help Housing has 38 new units, Guadalupe City Planning Director Larry Appel told the Sun. These affordable housing units are deed restricted, meaning they will rent for less than the market rate for the next 50 years. 

Another deed-restricted affordable housing project in Guadalupe will be developed by Santa Barbara County’s Housing Authority, which recently received approval to turn an old 50-unit complex into an 80-unit apartment complex with a community center called Escalante Meadows, Appel said.  

Two other Guadalupe apartment complexes, though not required to be affordable housing, will add nearly 50 more apartments to the city: Pioneer Apartments with 34 units, and the Eleventh Street Apartments with 12 units. 

Steve Simoulis, owner and developer of Pioneer Apartments, told the Sun that his units will house H-2A farmworkers. 

“The advantage here is, by adding this new H-2A housing, we’re not displacing any existing residents or tenants, and we’re filling a need in the community here,” Simoulis said. 

In addition to these new, higher density housing units, the city’s Pasadera single-family housing development continues to build around 60 houses a year, Appel said. In total, about 800 single-family homes are approved within that project, meaning hundreds if not thousands of people could move to Guadalupe once the project is fully built out. 

Appel said these homes and other new Guadalupe housing cost considerably less than almost anywhere else on the Central Coast.

“Guadalupe has kind of become what Orcutt was back in the early ’80s when the prices started going up so fast on the South Coast: People were buying houses in Orcutt and then commuting,” Appel explained. “I know there are a number of people who live in Guadalupe, but they’ll work in Santa Maria or they’ll work up in San Luis [Obispo] County. The housing prices, especially with Pasadera, are so much less than what you have to pay other places. It’s really a bargain.”

Lupe Alvarez, owner and developer of the Eleventh Street Apartments, said the same goes for his units and generally most housing in Guadalupe. 

“We’ve always looked for opportunities to provide safe, clean, affordable housing in Guadalupe,” Alvarez said. 

Alvarez and his family have lived and built in Guadalupe for more than 60 years.

“We’ve always loved and supported Guadalupe,” he said. “We’ve believed in the city in the good times and the bad times, and we’ve always done projects, from single-family homes to duplexes or multi-family projects.”

Alvarez added that his Eleventh Street Apartments were full almost immediately after going on the market. This indicates that there’s a strong need for more housing in Guadalupe, he said. 

“Every city, every county: The whole state knows that housing is needed,” Alvarez said. “But the process is never simple, it’s never easy. You need architects, you need engineers, you need different tradespeople doing the work for you.”

“I always say that Guadalupe is the last affordable place on the Central Coast, on Highway 1, with beach access,” he added.

Appel said that he is currently working on changing zoning in the city to accommodate more high-density housing developments down the road. 

“You have to show that it’s in the public interest to be able to change the General Plan,” Appel said of making zoning changes. “We’re going to have all the single-family we need through Pasadera, so that’s why I’m trying to increase the density in other areas so we can keep building apartments.” 

Pioneer Apartments developer Simoulis said that Guadalupe can provide housing at prices that nearby areas can’t, which could help alleviate the housing shortage on the Central Coast.

“Generally in California, there’s a shortage of affordable housing,” he said. “With Pasadera and the other housing in Guadalupe being more affordable than other areas, I think that’s a good thing for the community.”

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