Royal Oak Village, a 73-unit apartment complex, will host a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 11 near the intersection of Watsonville and Monterey roads. Photo: City of Morgan Hill

Morgan Hill’s first farmworker housing development will break ground on Watsonville Road on Aug. 11, according to city staff. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 1pm at the project site, near the intersection of Monterey Road.

Royal Oak Village is a 73-unit multi-family apartment complex, with 30 units designated for farmworker accommodations, says a press release from the City of Morgan Hill. The project includes 18 units for rapid rehousing of homeless people and families with special needs; 24 units for low-income families and one manager’s unit.

The project will consist of three buildings with three floors each, and one two-story building, city staff said. The development will offer one- to three-bedroom townhome style apartments.

Royal Oak Village will be constructed on a 3.7-acre site, at the former site of Royal Oaks Mushroom Farm. The project is being developed by Blieu Companies, formerly known as Urban Housing Communities, according to city staff.

Construction is expected to be complete by late 2023.

Although the agricultural industry employs more than 8,000 people in Santa Clara County and contributes about $830 million to the economy every year, there is an ongoing shortage of housing for local farmworkers. The county housing stock needs another 1,400 seasonal and 700 long-term housing units to support the employment needs of the agricultural industry, according to city staff.

And the cost of living is so high here that a single individual with an income of up to $92,250 or a family of four with annual income of $131,750 could be eligible for “affordable” rental housing, city staff said.

“The Royal Oak Village will deliver much-needed affordable housing units to South County’s agricultural workforce and our unhoused families, both of which struggle disproportionately with housing instability,” said City of Morgan Hill Housing Director Rebecca Garcia. “I am grateful to the County of Santa Clara and Blieu Companies for investing in housing opportunities for our most vulnerable families.”

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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