963 Pope St.

Our Town St. Helena acquired this property at 963 Pope St. and plans to build four new townhomes for local workers.

The nonprofit Our Town St Helena (OTSH) is seeking applicants for its newly acquired affordable rental unit on Pope Street.

Our Town closed escrow last month on a one-third-acre property at 963 Pope St., using financing from the City of St. Helena and Rural Community Assistance Corporation. By employing a charitable sale strategy, which includes significant reductions in capital gains and income tax, the seller was able to come out ahead and Our Town was able to purchase the property at a deep discount.

The large lot has a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house with garden, plus space to add up to four additional units. Once constructed, all units will be available for individuals, families and seniors making between approximately $40,000 to $100,000 annual income. Our Town will own and manage the rental units long-term.

Our Town is accepting pre-applications to rent the existing home beginning Monday, Oct. 7. Depending on the size of the family, households with incomes from $55,650 to $79,500 may qualify.

Pre-applications are available at ourtownsthelena.org, at the Upper Valley Family Centers in St. Helena and Calistoga or at the Hunt's Grove Manager’s Office. Pre-applications must be returned by Oct. 14 to marisol@ourtownsthelena.org or in person during business hours to the Hunt’s Grove Manager’s Office.

Qualified applicants will be requested to complete a full application with rent, employment and credit references.

“We hope to have a tenant move in early November,” said Marisol Vargas, an Our Town board member, who is managing the rental process. “It’s a great opportunity for someone working in St Helena to live in a nice house, close to Main Street.”

The property was brought to Our Town's attention by Linda Alioto of Better Homes and Gardens Realty, who saw the possibility for developing additional housing on the lot.

The seller, Curt Farber, said, “My wife and I felt very good about doing a charitable sale to OTSH. I felt we lost nothing financially and helped OSTH in their much-needed mission to provide housing for the people that help facilitate all the good things in our community.”

According to a news release, OTSH said this is the kind of in-fill project that can fit nicely into a neighborhood and still provide much needed housing for a diverse group of local residents.

OTSH hopes to work with other property owners to determine if a charitable sale could have tax advantages for the seller and provide St. Helena with additional housing opportunities. For a confidential consultation on charitable sale possibilities, contact Mary Stephenson at mary@ourtownsthelena or 849-2583.

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