City of Clovis breaks ground on controversial affordable housing complex

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FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – The City of Clovis broke ground on Solivita Commons on Tuesday. It’s an affordable housing complex, the city’s first large-scale effort in partnership with the Fresno Housing Authority.

“This location is a perfect location to put those that are going to live here very close to good schools, shopping, parks, and our trail system,” said Mayor of Clovis Drew Bessinger.

The Fresno Housing Authority works to provide affordable housing to low-income families in Fresno County.

Solivita Commons aims to do just that. When built, the complex will have 60 units ranging from one to three bedrooms, with rents from $350 to $1,200.

It’s a project that’s been in the works for years, and the Housing Authority’s Board Commissioner says, the opportunities that are already available in Clovis, will make a difference.

“Opportunity alone is the significance,” said Adrian Jones, the Board Commissioner Chair for the Fresno Housing Authority City. “The possibilities in 15 years is mind-boggling for me.”

“Lower-income families, it will give them an opportunity to go to a really great school,” Preston Prince, CEO of the Fresno Housing Authority said. “And to be in and around great work opportunities and just open up doors to be part of Clovis.”

Neighbors already living in the area are upset about the possible problems with the new affordable housing complex.

“I’m concerned when I saw happened to Northwest Fresno,” said Dennis Lewis who lives nearby. “that’s my concern. A pretty part of Fresno turned terrible.”

Terasa Hunter-Lewis also lives in the neighborhood adjacent to the up and coming affordable housing complex. “Neighborhoods that people work and earn money to get into for safety purposes, and worked very hard to be here,” Hunter-Lewis said. “And then what they do is they put this low-income housing in, and the crime spreads and everything changes, so how do you move into the safe safer neighborhood?”.

The City of Clovis has been widely criticized for its lack of affordable housing. Something this project aims to fix.

“We’re hoping they become community partners, part of the fabric of this community,” Mayor Bessiger said. “I think it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Solivita Commons is scheduled to open in Spring 2021.

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