Hesperia's affordable housing units just grew by 58, but the demand continues to outpace multi-family construction geared for low-income families.


"They're already sold out," Hesperia Mayor Thurston "Smitty" Smith said about the recently completed second phase at San Remo Apartments.


And the new units at San Remo, which brings the complex's total to 123, have plenty of modern amenities and curb appeal. Housed in two-story, garden-style buildings, the apartments include central heating/cooling, kitchens equipped with frost-free refrigerators, and each unit includes a private outdoor area.


However, said Hesperia's deputy director of economic development, Steve Lantsberger, "They're not opulent or over-the top. They're mainly designed to be functional."


But San Remo, whose grounds sport palm trees and trendy exterior fixtures, also has a community center, laundry facilities, swimming pool and a computer lab.


"We try to make them [affordable housing complexes] blend into the community so there's no appearance of affordability," he said.


About $4.4 million in gap financing was invested by the Hesperia Community Redevelopment Agency to compete for tax credit financing through the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee.


"We have a legal mandate to invest those funds in affordable housing," Lantsberger said. "We're required by law to produce affordable housing in the city's redevelopment area."


On Tuesday, Lantsberger and Smith were joined by principals from Palm Desert Development Company, the Hesperia Chamber Ambassadors and others to celebrate the project's completion. Eligibility requirements for potential tenants at San Remo include low-income status verification, rental and credit history as well as a criminal background check.


"[There are] no drugs, no gangs, no problems here,"the mayor said.


Besides San Remo Apartments, the city's redevelopment agency also has helped fund such projects as The Village in Hesperia, Mesa Vista, and The Villas at Hesperia.


"We have a few others in the pipeline that are at various stages of entitlements," Lantsberger said.