The California Department of Housing and Community Development last week awarded $2 million to the county for the expansion of Mountain View Estates. The county will contribute an additional amount of $2 million through CARES Act funds the county received from the federal government to respond to the pandemic.
The county will utilize the funding to purchase 40 new mobile homes. Once installed, they will be available to farmworker families living in substandard conditions to rent at $470 per month.
“Riverside County has a very successful partnership with Mountain View Estates that has vastly improved housing and living conditions for hundreds of our farmworker and service worker families,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. “We are very thankful the state recognized the need we have for safe, decent, and affordable housing in the eastern Coachella Valley and provided support that will allow 40 families to move from dilapidated housing into a new mobile home at Mountain View Estates.”
All 40 new mobile homes are expected to be on site at Mountain View Estates by December. Mountain View Estates is located at 68-990 Harrison St. in the agricultural community of Oasis.
Matthew Melkesian, a second-generation Coachella Valley developer of Desert Empire Homes, commented: “We are grateful to partner with the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and Housing Authority on the Mountain View Estates development. Projects like these are difficult to execute, and we are only able to do so because of our dedicated staff, subcontractors, and the involvement of our local utility and government agencies. This is truly a team effort, and we hope to continue working together improving our community with projects like this in the future.”
Mountain View Estates was built to remedy the unsafe and unsanitary housing situation of residents at a dilapidated mobile home park known as Duroville. It was built with a combination of funding from Riverside County, redevelopment, federal grants and private investment by the developer, Desert Empire Homes. With clean water, sewer lines, streets, and amenities such as landscaping, fields and recreational facilities, Mountain View Estates provided replacement housing that enabled the closure of Duroville.
Mountain View Estates Phase 1, completed in 2013, provided new and safe housing to 180 families that previously lived at Duroville.
With redevelopment no longer available as a funding source, Riverside County has been seeking ways to expand Mountain View Estates. At full build-out, the permitted park has land and clean water and sewer infrastructure for 398 units.
Mountain View Estates Phase 2 consisted of 110 spaces, and was completed earlier this year. The phase 2 expansion was made possible by the county’s mobile home tenant loan program, which funded 88 of the 110 spaces, with the balance financed by the developer.
Mountain View Estates Phase 3 is the last phase to fully build out the 398-space mobile home park. In August, Riverside County applied to the state’s Project Homekey program to fund the first 40 of 107 remaining units.
Riverside County has a strong and ongoing commitment to improving housing for farmworkers in the eastern Coachella Valley. There is a high demand for adequate farmworker housing in the eastern Coachella Valley, where many families struggle in substandard and dangerous living conditions, often lacking basic needs such as safe electricity, clean water and proper sanitation systems.
This summer, over 50 families were affected by power outages caused by faulty electrical systems. Two families lost their homes in an electrical fire. Riverside County, through its housing division, assisted with temporary housing. In one instance, the county provided a generator for a number of weeks to provide electricity to power the well and each of the mobile homes.
The expansion of Mountain View Estates will help residents in the eastern Coachella Valley, especially those living in substandard or dilapidated mobile homes or in unpermitted mobile home parks lacking basic infrastructure.