SOUTH EL MONTE – Plans are under way to build the first senior housing project in the city since its incorporation in 1958. City officials estimate the $13.5 million senior housing project, which will include 56 affordable rental and 16 market-rate units, is within months of groundbreaking. The project will be at 1570 Durfee Ave. “We are very excited,” said Mayor Blanca Figueroa. “The seniors are ecstatic and happy to know that the mayor and council are looking after them.” The mixed-use, multi-level project will help the city meet the goals by the 2014 deadline for affordable housing as determined by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, a state law that requires jurisdictions to provide their fair share of regional housing needs. The city is still exploring options to further subsidize the cost of building the project, which in turn will help lower the rental rates for future tenants. The city is considering a $4.8million offer by the South El Monte Business Improvement District that would help lower the rates and make the units more affordable for seniors. This offer, however, has not been finalized. “The council has been looking at ways to meet the senior housing needs and to explore the affordability of the units,” said City Manager Anthony Ybarra. Plans for the project began more than two years ago, and the units will be made available first to South El Monte residents. This is one of two phases in the project. The first phase includes 10 single-family homes, with a lot size of nearly 5,000 square feet each. The second phase, to be designed in a Spanish-style architecture, includes 17,000 square feet of commercial space, the 73 senior housing units, a 5,000-square-foot courtyard and a community room. “It has been a goal of this Council for a long time to bring more senior housing in the city,” Ybarra said. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!