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San Antonio News

City of San Antonio Affordable Housing Bond Helps Homeowners

In a significant move to safeguard affordable housing, homeowners in the Riverside Terrace, a manufactured housing community located in the Mission Historic District of San Antonio, have successfully become the owners of their community. The neighborhood, facing the threat of displacement, has been renamed the Mission Trail Community Association.

City of San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg expressed pride in the city's commitment to preserving diverse affordable housing options, stating, "San Antonio is demonstrating what it means to preserve all types of affordable housing for all of our residents."

The City of San Antonio's 2022 Affordable Housing Bond played a crucial role by awarding $3 million to purchase and convert the community into a resident-owned community (ROC). The initiative aimed to protect families from displacement and empower them with ownership.

Valerie A. Valenzuela, Board Operations Director for Mission Trail Community Association, emphasized the importance of preserving the land, stating, "There’s a lot of history that is associated with our neighborhood, and our community has been here a long time."

The financing for the resident purchase amounted to $6.15 million, with contributions from various sources, including the City of San Antonio, the San Antonio Housing Trust, and ROC USA® Capital. This financial package covers the $3 million purchase and a comprehensive infrastructure repair and replacement project.

Phyllis Viagran, City of San Antonio District 3 Councilmember, highlighted the positive impact on District 3, stating, "This increase in funding helps families within the Riverside Terrace community rightfully own the land where they live."

Before the purchase, residents owned their homes but not the land beneath them, a common situation in manufactured home communities that can leave homeowners vulnerable to rent increases and eviction risks. The Mission Trail Community Association's cooperative model now allows homeowners to collectively make decisions about their community, ensuring stability and long-term affordability.

Veronica Garcia, Director of Neighborhood and Housing Services for the City of San Antonio, emphasized that the initiative aligns with the City’s Strategic Housing Implementation Plan (SHIP) to increase housing stability in neighborhoods.

Pete Alanis, Executive Director of the San Antonio Housing Trust, praised the residents for coming together to preserve and protect their community, stating, "This is what community empowerment looks like."

The focus on resident ownership of manufactured home communities as a solution to the affordable housing crisis has gained attention. Resident-owned communities, on average, raise site fees at a fraction of the rate of investor-owned properties, ensuring long-term stability for homeowners.

Michael Sloss, managing director of ROC USA® Capital, expressed satisfaction with the collaborative effort and commitment to the success of Mission Trail Community Association, emphasizing the potential for this model to benefit homeowners in other manufactured home communities in San Antonio for years to come.

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