Council OKs draft of housing assessment

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By SUNNY LOCKWOOD

The Angels Camp City Council unanimously approved a draft of a regional housing needs assessment, but that doesn't mean more houses are right around the corner.

At Tuesday's meeting, council members discussed the assessment prepared by the Central Sierra Planning Council. It projects how many housing units the city will need to plan for in order to serve its growing population.

City Planner Amy Augustine told the council that the assessment recommends the city plan for 282 new housing units by June 30, 2008.

The needs assessment proposes that the city plan for 64 housing units for "very low-income" households, 44 units for "low-income" households, 59 units for "moderate" income households and 115 units for "above-moderate" income households.

"Very low income" is defined as less than $20,511. "Low income" is from $20,512 to $32,818. "Moderate" income is $32,819 to $49,226, and "above moderate" is more than $49,227.

Based on the 2000 Census, Calaveras County's median household income is $41,022, the RHNA shows.

The city is already on its way to seeing those 282 housing units, having already allowed 133 middle and upper-income homes.

"Low-income housing is what we'll need to concentrate on," Augustine said.

The assessment doesn't mean the city must build houses or housing units, but that based on past growth rates, these are the numbers of housing units the city should plan for. More homes mean more demands on infrastructure, safety and social services and other city concerns.

The assessment is revised every five years.

Augustine said the assessment numbers, once certified by the Central Sierra Planning Council, will become part of the housing element in the city's General Plan. The Central Sierra Planning Council is the government entity authorized to approve an RHNA for Calaveras County.

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