In six years since Sandra Pilisdorf and her domestic partner moved into Parkwood Apartments in Rincon Valley, their monthly rent has gone up only once, from $ 1,150 to $ 1,200. For a fixed income couple, the lower price was a bargain.

"We could not find housing, but we found it. It was affordable, clean and quiet, "said Pilisdorf, 75." You can not find a two-square-meter apartment with two rooms here for such an amount "

Rents to Parkwood apartments will remain affordable for the next 55 years since Burbank Housing, an affordable non-profit organization in Santa Rosa, bought the $ 15-million 56-unit complex on Wednesday.

The acquisition represents a milestone in solving the long-term problem of affordable housing in Sonoma County, exacerbated by the fires of October 2017. More and more residents of the county have been released from most of the apartments. rent and do not have the financial means to buy a house.

"It's not a huge number, but it's part of the solution," said Mark Krug, Business Development Manager for Burbank Housing.

The apartment complex was put on the market in July and Burbank Housing submitted an offer in early August. In the day, Krug said that the offer had been accepted. The city has made a loan of nearly $ 2.5 million to Burbank to help close the deal.

"We are very pleased that current and future tenants can benefit from Burbank's affordable housing model in a building that our family built many years ago," said the salesman, L.E.E. & J. Inc., said in a prepared statement.

The apartment complex, built in the late 1970s, is adjacent to the Rincon Valley Community Park on Montecito Boulevard. On the other side of the park are the Rincon Valley Regional Library and Maria Carrillo High School.

One of the main motivators for the purchase of the property by Burbank Housing has been to maintain affordable monthly rents and prevent tenants from being displaced. They do not intend to ask tenants to leave and will not increase rents beyond typical increases in cost of living, most years, depending on the region's median income, Krug said. .

"If a for-profit developer bought it, it is almost certain that rents would have been increased considerably and that many existing households would not have the means to live there," Krug said.

Ninety-five per cent of households living at Parkwood Apartments have an income equal to or less than 80 percent of the region's median income, which qualifies them as low income. The county's median income for a one-person household is $ 58,850, compared to $ 67,300 for a couple and $ 84,100 for a family of four.

Also, in Parkwood, 37% of households have less than 50% of the region's median income, which is considered a very low income.

A two-person household in the county with income of $ 39,300 or less is considered a very low income, according to the Sonoma County Community Development Board. Pilisdorf and his domestic partner are in this range with an annual income of $ 36,000 from social security and other retirement income households. Burbank Housing generally builds affordable housing complexes and can take up to three years for a single project. However, the purchase of Parkwood took about six months because the funding secured non-profit.

It was not only a crucial time saver, but also money.