An artist's rendering of the Sherwood Avenue Family Apartments.

The California Strategic Growth Council on June 25 awarded more than $16 million to the city of McFarland and Milestone Housing Group for the construction of the Sherwood Avenue Family Apartments.

The $16.2 million award came through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, which provides grants and loans for programs and capital development projects, including affordable housing development and transportation improvements that encourage walking, bicycling and transit use resulting in fewer passenger vehicle miles traveled.

The project will construct an 81-unit zero net energy family apartment community along with substantial improvements to pedestrian and bicycling networks, public transportation and programming. The apartment community is designed for net zero energy usage and will obtain LEED Gold designation. A 5,000 square foot community garden would be available for residents.

Other amenities include bicycle storage, community spaces and a computer room. This project builds on the community feedback the awardee received through its TCC Planning Grant. The city of McFarland conducted extensive community engagement to hear from residents about their desires for development in the area, leading to meetings specifically seeking feedback on AHSC application components.

Public lighting, sidewalk repairs, 90 new trees in front of McFarland Junior High School and expansion of an existing OECD workforce development program operated by Fresno State University and the city of McFarland by offering courses at the Sherwood Family Apartment Community are all receiving funding through AHSC. The project also includes a 30-van expansion to CalVans’ regional transit service and a coordinated outreach program to increase ridership.

"This is a historic investment in McFarland and a game changer it will provide more affordable housing close to key community destinations—like jobs, grocery stores, schools, parks and transit—and create safer options for walking and biking," said Maria Lara, community development director for the city of McFarland. "I am so proud of the work done by McFarland residents, local public agencies, and stakeholders."

"It’s another great step forward to address McFarland’s pressing challenges such as housing affordability crisis, air quality, urban heat island and transportation infrastructure," Lara added.

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