The Incorporated Town of Paradise is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Range, approximately 90 miles North of Sacramento. The Town's history is grounded in the relationship and dependency on natural resources, but its growth is due to its development as a retirement community. The clean environment and small town culture is now drawing all ages from California's urban areas.
The Town of Paradise's Consolidated Plan proposes to address critical situations facing the Community--an aging housing stock, the lack of basic industry, and outdated public facilities which inhibit the mobility of its elderly population. The Town, in its second year as an entitlement City, has allocated $309,000 toward solving these situations.
The Plan development process was expanded beyond the usual and customary citizen participation process to involve direct consultation with social and community service providers. A scoping session was held with a broad base of community organizations prior to the Plan's development. Many of these issues were addressed in the Consolidated Plan and funded in the Action Plan.
Two public hearings were conducted by the Town Council during the planning
process. The Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan were adopted by the
Paradise Town Council on May 6, 1995.
The Town of Paradise has a population in excess of 26,000, and is located in the scenic Sierra Nevada Foothills. Founded during the Gold Rush as a weigh station, Paradise was first a mining center, then a logging area, and later an agricultural center.
In 1940, the Southern Pacific Railroad constructed a rail line to a nearby lumber mill. Businesses began to spring up along the rail line. Much of what is the present day downtown was built during that time period.
During the same period, Southern California physicians began sending patients to Paradise to convalesce; culminating in the construction of Feather River Hospital in 1950. The Hospital specialized in heart ailments and Gerontology.
Another senior citizen population boom occurred in the 1970's. But the intervening years have seen the Town grow into a service oriented community meeting the needs of an increasing diverse population.
Historical trends and recent circumstances have resulted in a community
experiencing a 60% leakage of retail sales to neighboring cities. The
community's housing stock, built to accommodate one and two member retired
families, is now being asked to meet the needs of younger families.
Additionally, 40 year old public facilities, coupled with an outdated design,
does not accommodate the elderly and frail elderly population.
Two specific housing needs and a unique variable have shaded the Town's housing program-- housing affordability, an aging housing stock, and a community which uses on- site wastewater disposal systems for both residential and commercial properties. To address these situation, funds are needed to help residents maintain and repair these homes.
Coupled with the affordability and condition, the issue of failing wastewater disposal systems compounds the overall program. Small parcel sizes and current disposal regulations places a heavy burden on low income residents.
The Town supports slightly more than 11,000 households: 22 percent are owner occupied. Median value of owner occupied housing units is $102,450, and median rent is $380 a month.
Due to environmental constraints and high development costs, most building activity is in the upper income level. Low end housing consists of existing two bedroom homes. A shortage of mid priced homes exists in Town.
Paradise is fortunate to have only a moderate homeless situation. Paradise represents less than 3 percent of the County's homeless families.
Of greater concern is the potential for homelessness among the Town's elderly, frail elderly, and special needs populations. Nearly 3,900 households are occupied by physically disabled, developmentally disabled, and at risk elderly.
Although Paradise does not have public housing units, the County's Housing Authority administers a Section 8 program in Town. Currently 140 households are waiting for an available unit. The wait ranges from 18 to 36 months.
Rising water rates caused by improvements to the water treatment plan are causing a decline in the Section 8 inventory. Owners concerned about the water rates are opting out of the program.
The lack of affordable housing is a crucial issue in the Community. The Town's recently updated General Plan encourages, and in some cases, offers incentives to develop in the core area of Town.
Market forces, however, have favored upper income single family development. Because of environmental and waste water requirements, the larger parcel sizes associated with these type of development is required.
The Town performed a lead hazard survey based on the National Center for Lead Safe Housing's Methodology. The survey indicated that over 3,000 units have a problem with lead based paint. Approximately 45 percent of the County's low income children have been screened in their blood testing program.
Generally, the Town's community development needs can be reduced to two
primary objectives--business formation and infrastructure replacement. Demands
of a growing population, and changing demographics cannot be met without an
economic base. Economic base formation calls for updated public facilities.
The Town's Housing objectives focus on the preservation and enhancement of existing inventory through an active rehabilitation program. By concentrating on owner occupied units, the Town intends to build a housing rehabilitation revolving fund that will accommodate a variety of housing needs.
Community objectives also include business development through the introduction of a micro enterprise program. Additional priorities include public facilities improvements, infrastructure improvements, and public service projects.
The strategy for assisting those below the poverty line focuses on expanding job opportunities and reducing housing costs for those residences who may be retired or otherwise unable to work.
Over a dozen agencies provide social and employment services in the
Community. In addition, the Town's Community Services Department is spear
heading the formation of a community foundation.
As the Town enters into its second year as an entitlement City, the Council's allocation of its $309,000 is as follows:
All of the Town's CDBG Activities are available on a town-wide basis.
Approximately twenty families will be assisted through either the housing rehabilitation program or the homelessness prevention activity.
Included in this executive summary are a series of maps.
Map 1 shows points of interest in Paradise.
Map 2 shows points of interest and the location of the low and moderate income areas ( 51% of the population have incomes below 80% of the median income) within the Town.
Map 3 shows the low income areas and the minority vs. non-minority populations.
Map 4 shows the low income areas and unemployment percentages in the Town.
Economic Development Director,
City of Paradise
PH: (916) 872-6200