Paso Robles Housing Authority garners the prestigious Chamber of Commerce award for the north-Paso transformation

Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce granted the Beautification of the Year 2019 Award to the Paso Robles Housing Authority for the transformation of the Oak Park Community that has been ten years in the making.

The Oak Park Community project has been a collaborative effort, led by PRHA Executive Director David Cooke. 

“It has been a big collaborative effort,” Cooke said. “What it comes down to is that it takes a lot of people, time and money to put these things together, and it is just great to see it all happen, and finally become a reality.”

Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin said, “The transformation of the Oak Park areas is one of the more dramatic transformations in Paso Robles. It’s a tremendous improvement, no doubt about it.”

The Oak Park Community project is a large complex that was originally built in 1942 for military families from Camp Roberts during World War II. The original complex featured 148 units but now includes over 300 affordable housing units for qualified families. The renovation project, sponsored by private and public investors, has been broken into four phases. The final stage is set to be completed this Spring. Families are occupying the finished apartments and there is a waitlist for future available units.

“This project was years in the making and took a village to create and finish,” City Manager of Paso Robles Tom Frutchey said. “Much thought and care went into the design on behalf of its residents, and we look forward to seeing the next phase completed later this year.”

The Oak Park complex is located at the north end of Paso Robles, between 28th Street to 34th Street, on 25 acres of land. Solar panels shade the parking lot and there is a network of walkways connecting the property. The renovated complex now includes many community-based features and recreational activities, including a basketball court, community garden, computer lab, multiple playgrounds, and a sizeable soccer-sized field. They also provide a community center that has a meeting room and a kitchen. The Paso Robles Housing Authority also offers youth programs for leadership and career development through their nonprofit, YouthWorks.

“This project gives a lot of hope for future projects, and it also shows what can be done with perseverance and cooperation among agencies and should be replicated in other areas.”

Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin

“We are happy to provide affordable housing for families who otherwise couldn’t afford market-rate units,” Cook said. “In the end, we are happy to have children move into brand new places and grow opportunities through having good housing conditions.” 

He explained further that affordable housing enables tenants to save funds, minimize debt and live a better quality of life.

The buildings and multifamily homes are painted in rich earth-tone colors and the property is lined with oak trees and drought-tolerant native landscaping. The energy-efficient family-style apartments come standard with amenities, including central air, washer and dryer hookups, and a dishwasher. Residents are conveniently located near grocery stores, public transportation, schools, and parks.

As the project nears completion, Cooke and his team are eager to dive into more work for their community.

“For us, we think it’s just a good opportunity to move forward and produce additional housing projects that are much needed throughout North County of San Luis Obispo,” Cooke said.

Mayor Steve Martin shares this optimism for future renovations. He concludes, “This project gives a lot of hope for future projects, and it also shows what can be done with perseverance and cooperation among agencies and should be replicated in other areas.”

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For more information about the Oak Park Community Apartments and the Paso Robles Housing Authority, visit pasoroblesha.org or www.liveoakpark3.com.

There will be a celebration for the awardees and other honorees during the Annual Gala on Saturday, Feb. 29, at Rava Wines, 6789 Creston Road, Paso Robles. Visit pasorobleschamber.com or call 805-238-0506 for ticket information and additional details.