FONTANA - It's affordable housing with flair.

With plenty of green spaces, roses and other plants, plus large children's play areas, a fitness center and pool, the word "upscale" comes to mind.

On Thursday, the Fontana Housing Authority, Irvine-based Related California, U.S. Bank, Project Access and other partners dedicated the final 46-unit phase of Paseo Verde Family Apartments.

The 150-unit complex, which spans 15 acres, targets working families who earn too much for Sec. 8 housing and not enough to pay market rates, said Mayor Acquanetta Warren.

"We identified a segment in our population that needs our help," she said. "They are not in a position to buy a home but they too want a piece of the American Dream.

"We want this group to save their money and get a home.... We want this group to be part of society that gets that part of the American Dream to own a home."

The project, which cost about $45 million, began its first phase in January 2010 and is now complete. It's located at 10050 Juniper Ave., about two blocks from Kaiser Permanente Medical Center.

The apartment complex has a free after-school program for its children and offers free classes for adults in English and other topics, which have included financial planning, said Rachel Sanchez, marketing director for Newport Beach-based Project Access Resource Centers, which provides services for the residents.


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Because Fontana Redevelopment Agency funding was needed to launch the project, it's not likely to duplicated anytime soon.

"There's talk in Sacramento that there might be a new program which would address the need for affordable housing," said David Edgar, deputy city manager.

Meanwhile, the new units are leased and there's a waiting list of nearly 500 families, said Bill Witte, Related California president.

Related built the complex and will manage it, something it has done for several senior citizen complexes in Fontana and other Inland Empire communities.

The project area was once home to several struggling businesses, including a recreational vehicle sales outlet, a tire store and a used car lot, said Steve Bram, a partner in Ontario-based Southern California Housing Resource and Development Co., which assembled the land.

jim.steinberg@inlandnewspapers.com 909-386-3855