.65 Units Of Affordable Housing Coming To Watsonville

The project will be funded thanks to a $2,000,000 METRO grant

65 units of affordable housing are coming to Watsonville, thanks to a grant awarded to The Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO).  

Metro announced that it received a $2,000,000 grant from the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments’ (AMBAG) on Thursday afternoon. The funds will be used to redevelop METRO’s Watsonville Transit Center into an affordable, transit-oriented housing development. 

The grant funding will cover the architecture and engineering phase of the project, a two-year process that will begin in January 2024 and conclude in December 2025 with a fully designed, permitted project that will be ready to move to construction. 

The announcement comes on the same day that new METRO services start in Watsonville, bringing the wait time between buses that bring passengers from Watsonville to Santa Cruz down from one hour to 30 minutes. 

Watsonville City Council Member Eduardo Montesino who represents District 1—the district where the affordable housing project is slated to be built—said that the project will address both transit inequity and a need for more lower income housing. 

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“It’s going to be great for the community,” Montesino said. “To have those opportunities, for transportation and housing. We’re in a situation where we’re living more than 1 household per unit.” 

Montesino credits the grant and the expansion of services to Watsonville to METRO’s new CEO, Michael S. Tree. Tree took the helm in 2022 and has since had what Montesino calls a vision. 

“I’ve worked for the district for more than 20 years, always been in the cutting mode – cutting services, which have gotten more expensive,” Montesino said. “This is the first time we’re talking about increasing services. He’s getting grants, the community involved, and tap into different resources. It’s actually very exciting.” 

Overall, Montesino said, the new transit hub and affordable housing will be a game-changer for the community.

“Families will be able to afford to live in the community,” Montesino said. “We’re being pushed out more to southern areas. People will be able to stay and still live here.” 

1 COMMENT

  1. “Families will be able to afford to live in the community,” Montesino said. “We’re being pushed out more to southern areas. People will be able to stay and still live here.”.

    This is funny!

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Aiyana Moya
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