This week San Luis Obispo’s public housing department celebrated the opening of a new apartment complex for veterans. The affordable housing consists of 20 brand new apartments, half of which are reserved for homeless veterans.
All the tenants have moved in already and the units occupied.
Scott Smith is executive director of the Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, or HASLO. He said with so many veterans in need of affordable housing, it was a challenge to select who would be able to move in, out of several hundred applications.
“We worked very closely with a lot of local social service agencies, including the Veteran’s Administration, and CAPSLO and another organization called PATH - People Assisting The Homeless, so a lot of our referrals came through those agencies with who they thought was really most in need for the housing, so that sort of guided us on the whole process,” Smith said.
Each tenant pays 30 percent of their income in rent, so the units vary in monthly cost. The units are furnished for those tenants needing to outfit a home.
The complex is called 860 on the Wye, because it’s located adjacent to the former Southern Pacific Railroad wye or track interchange. The physical address is 860 Humbert Avenue.
It's a Net Zero project, meaning the complex generates surplus electricity from solar panels. 860 on the Wye is also bicycle-focused. As many of the residents cannot afford a vehicle, when they moved in, each received a brand new bicycle for transportation - the complex features a central bike storage facility.
Funding to build the new veteran's housing came from multiple sources, including city, county and state grants and corporate grants.