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Escondido affordable housing to open to nonresident employees

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The Escondido City Council decided last Wednesday to expand the eligibility requirements for four recently approved affordable housing developments in Escondido. Those who have worked in Escondido for the past year are now eligible to live in one of the developments.

"We have a great deal of overcrowding and low-income people," said Beverly Peterka, housing manager for the city of Escondido. "This will simply expand the opportunities for people who work or live in the city already."

Before last week's decision, the developments were only available to individuals who had lived in Escondido for at least one year. The change was proposed by Escondido's Housing and Neighborhood Services department, based on the feedback from a focus group conducted by the Escondido Workforce Roundtable.

Participants in the group revealed that employees who commute into Escondido might seek a home closer to work because of increasing gas prices.

Peterka does not believe this will take away opportunities from current Escondido residents.

"I see this as an expansion of opportunity for people who fit the income," she said.

"Just to battle the freeway every day is a tough call," said Escondido Chamber of Commerce CEO Harvey Mitchell. "We have a lot of working class people here."

The city's Housing Division and Economic Development Division will meet with human resources professionals from the city's largest employers to inform them about the change in eligibility requirements.

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